OxO with @imNOTdenki
OxO with @imNOTdenki
Vera and her siblings have been split between foster homes in Wyoming. Vera is searching for her siblings.
Lucky is visiting his aunt and uncle and cousins in the same town. During his stay there, the world goes to war and the US gets bombed. The nuclear arsenals and military bases are the first targets.
The first bomb falls in Washington State, which puts Hawk Springs, Wyoming in jeopardy. Lucky and his uncle have gone into town to gather supplies, and they met Vera.
Name: Lukas Devereaux, goes by Lucky
Gender/pronouns: Male, he/him
Shipping: Sure, but be prepared for this to take a minute.
Appearance: Lucky is roughly 5'8"/1.7m tall and weighs around 135lbs/61kg. He's lean but not skinny, and has disproportionately large hands and feet for his height. He's got honey blonde hair, and suffers from uncombable hair syndrome (It's a real thing, look it up!), which means his hair never cooperates. As he's gotten older, it's started to curl, leaving him with a head of extremely unruly curly blonde hair, which he usually keeps shorter than 6". His eyes are a light brown and are almond shaped. His nose is aquiline, but is bent just a bit as a result of a break years ago. He has no intentional facial hair, but does grow reddish-blonde stubble. He's got full lips but a rather small mouth, making his face an interesting shape. Not handsome, per se, but interesting. His torso and legs follow normal proportions, other than his hands and feet. If he gets very tired, he limps on his left leg from an old knee injury. However, he doesn't tire easily because he's generally fit. Not a gym-rat, but fit. He can usually be found in cargo shorts or pants (when its cold), with a flannel shirt and maybe a hooded poncho in the rain or the cold, and Timberland boots, always Timberlands. His color pallet leans towards green, blue, and brown, largely because he enjoys nature.
Personality: Lucky is a generally easy-going, laid back individual. He enjoys peace and quiet, he loves being outside, and he loves books. He speaks French, German, Esperanto, English, and a little bit of Spanish. His talent for languages comes as a result of him being generally friendly and willing to talk to strangers. However, he has a clock-stopping French accent (which I won't reflect in his writing style, because that would be horrifically unreadable. You'll just have to imagine.) He isn't extroverted, he prefers his quiet, but he's never rude about it, and will willingly make friends. However, things that irritate him, irritate him quickly. He also works very hard to keep his temper in check, but when he loses it, you better move. He's a protective individual, sometimes to a fault. He can also be fiercely independent when the mood strikes him, particularly if he's upset. He's capable but not overconfident.
Backstory: Lucky is from France. His dad is French, his mom German, and they met studying abroad. They got married, had Lukas, had his little sister, then split up. His mom moved back to Germany and Lukas and his sister went with her, but Lukas spends a most of his time at his dad's place in France. His mom has remarried, and his stepdad and he don't get along, so he stays away, mostly only going to visit his sister. His dad has stayed single since the split, and he and Lucky travel a lot. Lucky has been part of the Federation de Scoutisme Francais (the French equivalent of the Boy Scouts) since he was little, and he and his dad often enjoy camping together. Lucky has also been a part of various martial arts classes over the years; scouting and his combat classes have turned him into a soft-core survivalist. Rather than going to university, after high school, he has been travelling around and living off the land in Europe. His dad came on some trips with him, but in the last year, they found out he had cancer. His dad passed away and Lucky came to the States, partially to visit an aunt and uncle who have a ranch out by the Rockies, but also to grieve in private.
Name: Sinjoro, meaning "Gentleman" in Esperanto
Age: 9 (prime of adult life for a horse)
Gender/pronouns: Male, he/him (although he doesn't care, as long as you're nice)
Sexuality: Probably straight? (Lucky has never bothered to check)
Shipping: Umm, no. Absolutely not. Unless we add more horses, but [shrug] why?
Appearance: Sinjoro is a big Anglo-Arabian, a common French horse breed known for their speed, endurance, jumping, and long military tradition. He's got black fur over most of his body, with a white patch on his head, and a big white patch across his chest and stomach; Lukas named him "Gentleman" because he looks like he's wearing a tuxedo. He weighs roughly 1100lbs/500kg and stands 17.5 hands/70in/178cm tall at the shoulder (he's a Big Boi), making him a little taller than Lucky. Lucky keeps Sinjoro's tail and mane neat, but usually leaves them unbraided and un-styled. Sinjoro can typically be found in a black English saddle, with black saddlebags, and a blue Western-style bridle. Lukas went with black in order to keep the tuxedo look, because why not?
Personality: Sinjoro largely reflects Lucky's personality. He is gentle and laid-back, but has a feisty streak when challenged. Lukas has been kind to him, so he's extremely gentle with people and very patient. His strength and endurance have allowed him to go on most of Lucky's adventures with him. He's an outgoing horse, but will only really trust a person if he sees Lukas trust them first. He likes sugar cubes, apples, carrots, and absolutely loves plums, for some reason. He's a generally stable horse (ha), but he does spook easy in tense situations, mostly because he's trying to protect Lucky. He's gained a lot of empathy for a horse, mostly from Lukas talking to him about literally everything gong on in his life.
Backstory: One of Lucky's Scout projects as a kid was to volunteer at a local horse farm in rural France. He got to help with the birthing of a foal, but the foal was sick. The farmer assigned Lucky to help him nurse it to health, and the boy and the foal bonded so deeply, the farmer sold Lucky the foal. Not for money, but for the promise that Lucky would treat him right. Lucky has honored that promise every day, and Sinjoro has had an easy life as a result. Lucky rode regularly, trained him for local races and jumping competitions, and eventually started taking him on long camping trips up in the Pyrenees Mountains. Sinjoro came back from his early sickness and grew very large for his breed. Lucky has always packed light, and used the gentlest gear available. This made Sinjoro a strong, well-adjusted horse. However, Sinjoro has watched Lucky go through some incredibly difficult things, and has been there as an emotional support the whole time. When Lucky's dad died, and Lucky decided to go to the States for a while, Sinjoro came with him. The long voyage on the livestock transport was worth it to feel Lucky's happiness on the open plains of Wyoming. He has also done his best to comfort his grieving owner in the quiet moments.
Name: Vera Kizuki
Gender/pronouns: female she/her
Sexuality: straight but gives off bi vibes
Shipping: open to shipping!
Appearance(ethnicity, skintone, height, weight, eye color, hair color and style and length. Style of clothing, and body type.): well she's part Latino, she has a like a dark caramel skin tone, she's around 5'9 (6'0 with her roller blades) she's a bit beefy so I would say she's probably 165lbs, she has dark brown hair color and her style is very retro and flannels. She's tall and beefy. She's pretty strong of course not as strong as Thomas.
Personality: she's a very bouncy person, she does a lot of things just for the thrill of it and loves to take risks. She's a bit slow and has no care for her personal safety.
Backstory: to be discovered!
Name: Ruby Kizuki
Gender/pronouns: female she her
Sexuality: she's straight.
Shipping: okay for shipping with the appropriate Age.
Personality: she's very shy and timid, think fluttershy but a little but more insecure. She's got a nice personality and likes to hang around animals but she just gets too shy around new people.
Name: Arellio kizuki
Gender/pronouns: male he him
Sexuality: asexual (though straight tho he's never really thought about romance)
Shipping: open but it would be difficult.
Personality: he's introverted, a bit blunt when he's talking to people that dosent know. Caring to those he does know.
Do we wanna continue from the house or just continue from the car almost running her over.
Lucky tossed another log on the fire, before sitting down on the rock by his sleeping bag. He'd been sleeping just fine till that wolf had howled. It had spooked Sinjoro, and the horse had squealed till Lucky had rolled out of bed to go calm him down. 15 minutes later, he was still wide awake, even though it had been quiet out here since. The fire was dying, so he'd built it back up, trying to keep warm in the mountain winter. Convincing Tante Sophia to let him camp out up here for the weekend had been difficult, but with Uncle Tim on his side, he'd made it out without her scolding him too much. He knew she cared a lot, and only fussed because she didn't want him to be alone but… sometimes the silence of the mountains was nice.
And sometimes some peace and quiet from his 4 cousins was a necessity.
Lucky loved them, he really did, and they'd been very kind while he'd been staying with them since-… since Dad died… but honestly, sometimes they were SO LOUD. And with 4 of them, no place was quiet. He couldn't hide in his room, because he shared a room with a cousin. If he hid in the stable with the horses, someone would find him while they did their chores. If he went out in the pastures with the cows, he could sometimes still hear their laughter and playful shouting echoing across the flat ranchlands from the house. No, the only really quiet place out here was up in the mountains, with just the falling snow and his horse.
And the wolves, apparently.
Which reminded him. He dug his poncho out of his pack and unwrapped his tools. If there were predators around, being armed wasn't a bad idea. He pulled his hatchet and knife out of their pouches before he remembered his uncle's recent gift. Oh. Right. He stood up and went back over to where Sinjoro was tethered to a small pine. He had put the 9mm Glock 22 in his saddle bags, thinking he wouldn't need it, but it would definitely be better than trying to defend himself with a knife. He stuck the gun in his belt, and paused to nuzzle his horse's forehead.
"It's a beautiful night, Sinjoro." He looked up at the sky. "Think Dad can see the stars from heaven? Or maybe… maybe he IS a star now." That'd be cool. He walked back and flopped down on his sleeping bag, staring up at the stars. Dad, if you're a star, burn bright.
He lay there till morning, dozing a little, but mostly watching the stars and listening to the mountain sounds.
Lucky thought about a lot of things that night under the stars. The snow was crisp, the air was clear, the moon was bright, and the flickering of the fire made him just a little emotional.
He thought about his sister back in Germany. Sweet little Marie. She wasn't so little anymore, and neither was he, but his baby sister would always be his baby sister. When they had been little kids, she used to pretend that she was a princess, and he was her brave knight swooping in to rescue her. Sometimes it was from dragons, sometimes it was from an evil kingdom, sometimes it was from an ugly prince who wanted to marry her….
And sometimes it was from very angry parents.
Those had been the nights they would snuggle in the same bed. Lucky could remember his sister trembling as she clung on to him, while his mother yelled and threw things downstairs. His dad was always quiet, but his anger would come out in smaller, more subtle ways.
He remembered the day the courts had said they would go with his mom, and how scared he'd been. How he'd pleaded with the judge to let him go with his dad, that his sister didn't want to go with his mom, that they didn't want to go to Germany. The judge didn't listen.
Lucky failed to save his sister that day.
They moved to Germany and Marie made new friends. She fit in at school and seemed happy. She got used to the hustle and bustle of the city, the noise of cars lulling her to sleep at night, the bright lights and loud music of downtown.
Lucky never did.
He was so frustrated with it all, his health started to suffer. He was 7 and depressed. His mother saw the change and did everything to help him, but nothing changes. Finally, she listened to what he'd been telling her for years, and sent him back to his father in France.
Sent him home.
That was a happy memory that put a smile on Lucky's face, there in the snow. He remembered how glad he'd been that she had let him go.
How lucky he had felt.
And how he'd decided to keep that feeling alive forever with a nickname.
He also remembered the day his mom had remarried. He'd tried to save his sister from the ogre, be the knight in shining armor again, but…. the princess no longer wanted saving.
He was glad that Marie and his stepdad got along so well, but Lucky had never liked the man, and the feeling was mutual. His mom had tried to have them bond, tried to help them be close, but Lucky could never shake the feeling that something was off about the man.
Lucky didn't like the way he looked at Marie.
But his mom didn't notice, and Marie enjoyed the attention. Lucky got into more fights with them all, and finally into a fistfight with his stepdad. He'd beaten the man bloody, breaking his nose and splitting his lips, before somebody had pulled him off.
That's when his mom had sent him back to France for good.
He'd lived with his dad since, making regular trips to meet up with Marie, who still wanted him around, the sweet girl. She had come on a couple trips with them, and it made Lucky so happy to see her running barefoot through the grass, her hair blowing in the wind, giggling. Just like they were kids again. Like old times.
That had been before his dad had died.
Lucky wished he'd been to Wyoming before, as he lay there staring at the stars. The fact he would forever associate this place with grief was unfortunate. It was so pretty here, but he'd come here to be sad.
Dad's funeral had been difficult. Mostly because his mom had made it hard. She had wept and wailed like a woman who still cared, and the hypocrisy had angered Lucky more than he'd been angry in a long time.
Marie had cried quietly, genuinely, but couldn't understand his frustration with their mother. And of course, his stepdad had been no help at all, sitting sullenly in the back like it was a chore for him to even be there.
Lucky had been ready for it to be over from the beginning.
He'd held his own service for Dad on their small farm, with the animals and the ancient farm equipment his father loved so much. Sinjoro had nuzzled him for hours that day, trying to cheer him, but it was as if something in his chest had burst open, and taken his ability to smile with it.
His mother had made it worse at the graveside. After all that, she had stepped up to Lucky and put her arm around him.
"Lukas… you still have me." He glanced at her, not really wanting that reassurance. She sniffed and tried a joke. "I guess this makes me your favorite parent, huh?"
He didn't have the heart to tell her the truth.
He dearly loved his mom, but she made things sooo… complicated. If Marie didn't still live with her, he wasn't sure he'd visit very much.
The one saving grace about the funeral had been Tante Sophia and Uncle Tim. They had come all the way to France to the funeral. Tante Sophia was Dad's only sibling, and they'd kept up a close phone relationship across the ocean over the years. Uncle Tim always chipped in horse tips for Sinjoro, and had told Lucky repeatedly "Any time you wanna visit, Nephew, come one out. Plenty of room for ya here!"
He'd said it once more that night, with a little more gentleness.
"Lucky… come visit us. You and Marie both if she wants to."
"Uncle Tim, you don't have to offer tha-"
"No, I insist. Please." He had leaned in, smiling a little. "We got mountains and wide open plains like you've never seen over here. Sinjoro could run for days and we could still see you." He had put a hand on Lucky's shoulder. "Come on over, buddy. We'll help pay your way, you and the horse and Marie."
Lucky had just nodded, trying to smile, but just feeling numb.
He'd felt worse when Marie said no.
She wanted to stay where things were familiar. Where she knew people and had support. He could understand that. He'd promised he would see her as soon as he got back.
And that's how he'd wound up in Wyoming, under the stars on this crisp snowy night, waiting for the sunrise and wondering if Dad could still see it too.
Vera was roller blading through the streets, on and off the sidewalk. She had a helmet on her head but no knee pads or shoulder pads.
She was grinning as she sped down the sidewalk as fast as she could without stumbling over herself and falling on her face.
"WOOOHOOO!" She cheered to herself as she gave a sharp turn around the corner of the street. She hadn't thought about how people were probably sleeping and how she was being too loud for the sleeping people.
Though being one that dosent sleep much it didn't occur to her that others actually slept when they were supposed too.
She swerved in and out between traffic cones, grinning as she used a ramp to jump over some wet cement and landed on her feet.
She couldn't be enjoying her night more, well she could think of other things that would make it more enjoyable, like having her siblings with her…but that wasn't an option for her. It would still be a long time until the judges and CPS would think she was capable of being a good care taker. She just had hold on until then.
She slowed to a stop and just went on a even pace, going for a casual stroll. She was still deep and thought and started to get sad on how she missed her siblings..
Do we wanna continue from the house or just continue from the car almost running her over.
(oh sorry. I'm pulling all our writings and compiling them here so we have an easy quick reference for stuff. We'll pick up from where we left off if thats ok)
The sun was bright, the sky was blue, and Lucky was high on life. He was riding Sinjoro hard towards the stump, trying to make sure he stayed light in the saddle, giving the horse his head as he sprinted. They passed the stump and Lucky whooped, slowing Sinjoro and turning around. He trotted back over to the figure standing by the stump.
"Time? Did we beat 1 minute?"
The figure laughed, squinting at his phone. "I'm not sure, I can't see my stopwatch."
"Daaaad!" Lucky reached down and snatched the phone, laughing as his father tried to keep it away from him. "Lemme see!" He wound up squinting at the phone himself, and saw the time: 58.67 seconds.
"That's better than a minute! You did it, Sinjoro!" He hugged his horse's neck as his father smiled up at him. "I think we're ready for that race, Dad."
His father patted his leg. "That's good, Lukas. Just one more thing." He patted his leg again. "You need to wake up."
Lucky frowned, confused. "What?"
His father patted his leg again, harder. "Lukas, I need you to wake up."
"Dad, I don't unde-"
His father swatted his leg harder this time. "Wake up, son!"
Lucky's eyes popped open. It was dark, he was on his back on the ground, and a dark shape was standing over him. He flinched for a second before the shape snorted, and he recognized the sound.
"Sinjoro…. what're you doing?" Lucky sat up, noting that the small branch he had tethered the horse to earlier in the evening was still tied to the reins, but had broken off. Obviously, Sinjoro had pulled hard enough to rip the branch off and walk over to him. The fire was out, and it was still night. Lucky glanced at the moon and decided it must be around 5 am.
The horse tapped his leg with a hoof, and Lucky recognized what had woken him. He must have dozed off and been dreaming-… about Dad. A pit formed in his stomach for a moment, until he pushed it back down.
"Hey, what's got you spooked again?" The horse snorted again, expressing alarm, and by the soreness in his leg, Lucky could tell the horse had been pawing at him for a minute. He reached for the reins to untangle the branch, but paused as something made the hair on his neck stand up.
There was a very slight rumbling going on, accompanied by the whoosh of sudden strong winds. It was an odd combination that immediately made Lucky uneasy. He scrambled to his feet, quickly gathering his stuff as his mind raced.
Is this an earthquake? What was that? I gotta get off the mountain if it's a quake, we're in trouble up here.
He grabbed his phone, which he had turned on silent, and checked it. No messages, no missed calls, and… no service. Tante Sophia had insisted he leave it on so they could check on him, but there was nothing. He held it up over his head, trying to get a bar, but he couldn't get anything out here.
Weird. I had service earlier.
He ran through his mental checklist as he climbed into the saddle. Poncho, sleeping bag, tools, fire is out, night is clear, I'm awake, and this is weird.
He leaned close to Sinjoro's neck, his adrenaline kicking up from the stress and the excitement of the run he was about to make as he turned the horse towards the ranch. "Let's go, Big Boi!"
The rumbling was replaced by the drumming of Sinjoro's hooves.
When he cantered up to the porch 45 minutes later, Lucky was unnerved by how still the ranch was. At 6 am on any day, his uncle and cousins ought to have been out and about, doing chores and prepping for the day. But there was an eerie silence over the ranch house. The lights were on inside, so he tethered Sinjoro to a post and walked in.
"Uncle Tim! Tante Sophia? I'm back." He walked towards the kitchen, where he could hear the sounds of someone speaking. "Did you feel the earthquake? I was trying to sleep and-"
He froze as he came around the corner into the kitchen.
All of his cousins were sitting at the dinner table, along with Tante Sophia. Uncle Tim had his hands on her shoulders, rubbing gently, absentmindedly. Ally, his youngest cousin, was crying softly, while the 3 boys looked angry. Frankie, the eldest, had his fists clenched and was staring at the ground, his jaw clenching and unclenching rhythmically. There was nothing on the table, except for the small radio Uncle Tim usually kept in the barn. That was where the voice Lucky heard was coming from.
"-reports that the President will speak with the us soon. Folks, we are begging you, please, if you can, get underground. God forbid, if this isn't the only attack, we may need to shelter in place for quite a while. The Emergency Broadcast System will keep you alerted if our transmitters go down. Please, please be safe. We'll keep you updated, stay on this channel. That's WCBC 87.9…"
His uncle reached to turn it down as they registered Lucky was there. Tante Sophia immediately stood up and rushed him, hugging him tight, and began crying into his shoulder. Lucky hugged her back and looked at his uncle, his brow furrowing.
"What on Earth happened, Uncle Tim?"
His uncle stepped across the room to him, and reached out to rub Tante Sophia's back. "Lukas… we've been nuked."
Lucky was numb. The ten mile drive into town seemed to be taking so much longer than usual… or maybe it's just my brain slowing everything down so I can cope…
When his uncle had told him the news, Lucky had immediately freaked out. Who and where and why and how and when exactly and did they hit anyone else and did Uncle Tim think his sister was safe in Germany and could they run and were they going to mutate into terrible monsters or maybe just die of cancer and were they all already dying and were they going to get hit again and what if the next one is closer and what about the animals and-
His aunt had just hugged him tighter and shushed him in French. His brain had slowed its racing as Uncle Tim explained they had heard the same rumbling he did and turned on the radio while doing chores to hear the news. The only channel broadcasting consistently was the big Cheyenne station, and they were only talking about this. Uncle Tim had pulled everyone in when he realized what they were talking about, and that was the scene Lucky had walked into.
He still couldn't believe it.
Ally was terrified and hadn't stopped crying, but she was doing her best to be a help. Frankie and the boys seemed ready to enlist right now and go kill something, or at least punch the bulls in the herd between the eyes. They were still back at the ranch, frantically trying to move all the cattle indoors. Lucky didn't think it mattered, but Tante Sophia had explained it to him gently.
"Lukas, Tim needs to try to save what he's built here. Maybe they're all irradiated and going to die soon anyway. Or maybe they'll survive this whole thing. But Tim needs to know he did his best to save the herd and save our ranch."
They had decided to stay put. Lucky had argued with his aunt, telling her how crazy it was to stay here, but she had responded that they had cellars that would shield them from the fallout. If they stocked up, they could last long enough for the radiation to die down to manageable levels. Lucky had vehemently pointed out that they couldn't be sure the cellar would work, but Tante Sophia had responded that the ranch house foundations were built to withstand massive tornados and would be concrete reinforced, which should shield them. Lucky had started to argue more, but then he'd glanced at his uncle. Uncle Tim was standing there, watching the argument in French, and Lucky knew he didn't understand the words, but there was something in his uncle's eyes that told Lucky there was no point in arguing.
So now here he was, driving to town with Uncle Tim to stock up.
The weight in his lap didn't help him think clearly. Uncle Tim had decided they needed to be careful going into town.
"There will be all kinds of chaos happening, Lucky," he'd said as he unlocked the gun safe, "so we need to be ready. You still got your Glock?" Lucky had nodded, and his uncle had paused to think for a second. "Maybe…. Yeah, we'll take something more intimidating." He had pulled down a shotgun for himself, before handing Lucky the AR-15. "Think you can handle that?"
Lucky had swallowed hard as he looked over the weapon. The reality of the situation settled on his shoulders just then, and his uncle had hugged him gently.
"It's a lot, I know, but we'll make it. C'mon."
Now as they drove, the rifle sitting in Lucky's lap, he sincerely hoped they wouldn't have to use it. But as they pulled into Hawk Springs, Lucky could hear sirens and see flames across different parts of the little town. The early morning sun illuminated figures running, many carrying big bags full of stuff, and Lucky understood why his uncle had brought weapons.
This is going to get ugly.
Vera was still out rollerblading when she felt the ground starting to shake and rumble setting her off balance and making her stumble as she skated through the area.
She moved to hastily take off her skates and grab them as she moved to run towards shelter, figuring the tremors couldn't mean anything good was coming. She ran unsteady in the city and fell down onto her face as another big tremor made her trip and fall.
She looked around as some tvs spoke of a bomb shell hitting down, and that more be coming soon. She listened to the rest of it but it didn't really process for her, all that mattered is that she found her siblings. She quickly moved to pull out her normal shoes and shove her skates in throwing the back pack on her back as she ran across town.
People started running into places and grabbing things, some places were getting broken into.
Some places were being set on fire.
Vera normally would go help people but she had to find her siblings.
She had too.
Nothing else mattered to her in that moment.
She ran up to a large office type building and banged on the doors.
"HEY! gosh dang it let me in! Let me in!" She continued to bang on the doors of the building, but they weren't going to budge.
She pulled out her phone, trying to call a social services worker without realizing there was no service.
The call didn't go through.
She tried again, nothing.
"No no no no come on come on! Work you stupid phone!"
No matter what she tried it wouldn't go through.
She threw her phone at the ground as she felt the tears go to her eyes. The tears came quickly down her cheeks as she felt herself beginning to cry as the chaos descended around her.
How was she going to find them now?
She moved to pick up her phone making sure it still worked, she moved to a picture of the two of her siblings that they has taken last time she was allowed to see them.
She could show people this at the very least.
She got up and moved to someone near her, trying to show them the picture. "Please have you seen-"
She was cut off by the people ignoring her and just leaving.
She kept running around and showing people begging them for any information.
She didn't realize she had run right infront of a car.
Lucky was looking out his window when his uncle yelped and slammed the brakes.
"What are you doing!?! Get out of the road!" Uncle Tim wasn't really angry, just shaken that he'd nearly killed the girl who had run out into the street.
Lucky got out of the truck, putting the gun strap of his head and carrying the rifle on his back. He moved quickly to where the girl was, trying to help her calm down.
"Hey! You ok?" His thick French accent was always a problem when he was trying to communicate, but he wanted to check on her. She looked frantic, and Lucky wanted to help, but he had no clue what she wanted.
"Is she ok?" Uncle Tim yelled from across the street, where he was heading towards a store that had the windows kicked out.
"I think so!" Lucky called back. He reached out to touch her shoulder just to make sure. "Are you alright?"
Vera hadn't realized the car was coming until she saw the lights when it was seconds away from her, she let out a scream as she got hit by the car and fell to the ground, the phone flying from her hand across the street.
She was there on the ground, shaken up as she realized she could have very well just died from being so careless. Nothing usually scared her..but in that moment she was terrified.
Terrified she would have never found her siblings had she just now died.
She didn't realize someone was taking about her until shocked lifted its cursed hands off of her.
She looked up at the boy, her face shifted a bit to show how scared she was.
He had a heavy foreign accent that she couldn't quite piece together what it was.
Though she could hear him asking if she was okay, it took her a bit to actually respond to him.
She stammered over her words before she realized she didn't have her phone, she moved to look around the area frantically before she spotted it a bit down the road.
She moved to get up before wincing.
"M-my ankle.." She spoke, finally. Moving to see brusing form on her left ankle.
She had brusies on her arms as well as she tried to shield herself when she noticed the car.
She also had cuts.
She tried to get up once again, trying to ignore the pain, trying to limp her way over to the phone.
Lucky frowned, noting her ankle. The bruises on her arms had formed quickly, but they weren't serious. That ankle though… that might be a problem.
She seemed to be trying to get to her phone, and Lucky jogged the couple of steps to the phone and brought it back to her. He tried again, speaking slowly and gently.
"Hey… are you in pain? What hurts?" He knew they had basic first aid stuff, and he could splint the ankle if he had to. There was a small CVS down the street. It had probably already been raided, but there might be a brace or something.
His uncle came out of the store, carrying a few bags. He tossed them in the bed of the truck. and walked over. "Is she ok, buddy? We gotta move, somebody might try to steal the truck if we sit here too long, and I'd really rather not have to shoot anyone."
Lucky nodded. "She's pretty shaken up. Maybe we could take her somewhere safe?" He turned and looked at her again. "Where do you need to go?"
Vera exhaled softly as she got her phone back, moving to see the cracks in it. She tried to turn it on, and after a few seconds it finally did.
She held her breath the entire time during those few seconds and finally let herself breathe when her phone turned on. She opened her phone despite the cracks on it that might cut her fingers, and found the photo.
She looked back at the boy as he talked to her again, she moved to open the photo of her siblings and showed them to him.
She was more so able to understand him now that she had her phone back and some of the shock had worn off.
She was also more aware of the pain of her ankle and stumbled a bit.
"H-have you seen these two anywhere around here? I need to find them- they are my siblings.." She spoke to him, almost pleading to him for help.
"please, I have no service and I can't reach them."
Lucky nodded. "Nobody has service, the towers in this part of the country are all down." He looked at his uncle. "Do you know these kids?"
Uncle Tim shook his head. "I've seen her around but not the kids." He looked around. "I'll check the pharmacy for something for that ankle." He took off at a jog.
Lucky gently put his hand on her shoulder. "Here, have a seat in the truck, take the weight off your ankle. My uncle will be back in a minute with a brace or something." He looked at the picture again. "Are you sure they'd be in Hawk Springs?"
Vera looked between him and his uncle and felt like she might cry again. She didn't even know if her siblings were alright much less where they were.
She moved to get into the truck and sit down, moving wipe her eyes with her hands as she felt the tears coming again.
Did she even have a chance at finding them at this point?
She looked up at lucky before looking at her phone.
"I don't know..I usually get messages from either them or the social services worker when they move towns and this was the last place that they were put with a family that I know about."
She tried hard to stop herself from basically sobbing but she felt it bubbling inside her.
Lucky nodded, trying to be encouraging. "If they have social workers, they're probably moving out of Hawk Springs now. We're in the radiation radius of the bomb, so they're either in a shelter or leaving."
Uncle Tim came back and handed him a roll of sports tape and an ankle brace. Lucky took it and pulled her shoe off, before starting to tape her ankle.
"I'm Lucky. This is my Uncle Tim." He looked up at her, continuing to tape. "Lemme fix up this ankle and you can decide what you wanna do. Do you have a family to go back to, other than your siblings?"
Vera looked up at the mention of the shelter, "shelter..?" She wanted to know more if they were in the shelter then maybe she could find them.
Just maybe she had a chance.
She blinked as he started to fix her ankle and realized that he didn't even know her name.
"I'm, I'm Vera. I would say it's nice to meet you but this hasn't exactly been the best situation everywhere. Though I'm really fortunate to have run into you guys." She put a hand on her neck as it got finished up.
"Ah…no..I don't have any family, at least, not in this state. Not any that I want to go back too…my siblings are all I have."
Lucky nodded at her as he put the brace on over the tape. "I'm sorry we met this way, Vera." He tapped the brace. "That should feel better now." He began putting the rest of the medical supplies in the back of the truck. "I don't think Hawk Springs has formal shelters, but a lot of folks will be hiding in their basements and such. Either that, or getting out of town." He finished stacking everything and walked back around to her. "If you don't have anywhere specific to go, you could come with us. My uncle and aunt have a farm where they're gonna stay till this blows over more. You could stay there for a while, till you figure out how to find your siblings." He started checking the pile in the back against the list they'd made, trying to see what they still needed.
"It's alright..who knows, maybe I never would have met you had it not happened this way and we could end up being some good friends.' Vera tried to lighten the mood a little bit when she said that, not really expecting anything to come out of what she said.
She thought for a moment while he went to the back of his truck to put stuff in the truck bed, which makes sense and all. They were probably trying to stock up before she ran into the middle of the road Like an idiot.
She looked back up at lucky,
"are you sure that's okay for me to do? I'm just a random person you almost ran over. I would hate to crowd on you guys and force myself in."
Lucky smiled at her. "Yeah, maybe. Who knows?" He looked across the street. "There's a general store over there. I'm gonna go grab some food, you coming with?"
He responded to her concerns as he looked down the street, making sure nobody was coming.
"I'm sure it's ok. You're not a threat to my family, and we've got plenty of room." He looked her in the eyes as he crossed the street. "And you're not forcing yourself in, you're being invited."
Vera nodded to him as she moved to get up from sitting, leaning most of her weight on her good ankle, so that she wouldn't have to worry so much about her bad ankle.
"Well..okay..as long as I'm not doing any of that, and you invited me in."
She sighed softly, "I hope my siblings are okay.." She muttered as she made her way across the way along side lucky.
She hadn't seen them since last week and they end up getting moved around a lot the older you get.
Lucky smiled as she followed him into the store. It appeared completely empty.
"Grab any food you like to eat, and anything you might need in the long term that you don't have."
As a small general store, it didn't have a lot of things like the bigger cities, but Lucky knew there'd be enough there to keep them going for months. "Blankets, a jacket, canned goods, anything that'll keep for a while goes in the truck."
A lot of the shelves were already empty from other people coming through. Uncle Tim had said they'd come back into town eventually and settle with the owners, if they survived.
Vera followed in after him, having to limp a bit as she walked. she spotted a bag hanging on one of the hooks in a aisle and decided to take it, it was decent sized. she could put stuff in it instead of just carrying it.
she moved to put different types of food in the bag, along with any drinks that she could find that weren't pre opened or tampered with.
Lucky was tossing things in the backpack he'd brought with him. Within a couple minutes it was full. He got Vera's attention. "I'm headed back out to the truck. We'll leave in about 5 minutes, Uncle Tim doesn't wanna stay too long." He headed out to the truck, setting his backpack under the tarp in the back. He went to the passengers side and opened the door, before tilting his seat forward so Vera could climb in the back when she was ready.
He waited for Uncle Tim to get back, trying not to look like he was standing guard, but definitely feeling conspicuous with the rifle strapped to his back.
Vera nodded back to him, moving to grab something’s for when she saw her siblings. She didn’t want to think about the what ifs that were popping into her mind.
She took a deep breath and moved to head back to the truck where she spotted lucky sitting in the passenger seat.
She took one good luck at the place before moving to climb her way into the back of the truck.
please be safe…
She found herself looking out the window in case she spotted them. She was wishing badly that they would just appear out of nowhere so she could embrace the, and take her with them.
She was supposed to keep them safe, she was the oldest sister.
Yet she hardly had done that since their parents had died.
Lucky could tell that Vera was nervous, and worried about her siblings. He tilted his seat back into its normal position and climbed into the truck.
About a minute later, Uncle Tim came back with several bags slung over his shoulder. He tossed them all in the bed of the truck and climbed into the driver's seat. He glanced back at Vera.
"Well, glad you've joined us." He looked at Lucky. "Can always use one more on the farm, can't we?"
Lucky nodded and smiled back at her. "See? You're welcomed."
They took off down the streets, avoiding sections with obvious rioting, and headed out of town towards the farm.
She gave a smile to the uncle when he climbed back into the car, "thank you for letting me come, I don't know what I would have done otherwise." She nodded to lucky, offering a smile to him as well though she was still extremely nervous internally.
She moved back to looking out the window as they drove off towards the farm and out of the city.
She just hoped that they stuck together and were able to keep each other safe long enough for her to reach them.
Ruby clung to her big brothers arm, confused and a bit panicked as she saw the family they were staying with frantically move around the house.
The TV was playing static in the background of the chaos as it seemed that they were tossing items around and packing up to go somewhere.
They couldnt leave the state without the family talking to the social worker and telling them they decided to keep them.
Were they just going to get left behind again..?
"Lio..? What's happening?" She spoke to her brother as she looked up at him, her voice soft.
He looked back down at her, his face conflicted on what he should say or express. He just put a hand on her hand and ruffled her hair.
"I'm sure we'll find out soon okay?" He spoke to her, his voice smooth and comforting as he offered her a small smile.
She nodded to him and just stood there as the family packed up their stuff.
if Lio says things are okay…then..things are okay.
Lio very much knew things weren't okay, but how in the world could he tell his little sister they were about to be left behind?
He ran a hand through his hair, stressed. He overheard them talking about a bomb hitting down, and felt it touching down when they were watching a show upstairs and the TV cut out.
He moved to take his sisters hand in his and go upstairs with her.
"We have to pack our stuff too, okay ruby?"
She nodded back to him and let go of his hand, moving to pack up her stuff into her backpack as much as she could.
He sighed, moving to shove stuff into his duffle bag, he grabbed some of ruby's stuff and shoved it in before shoving his stuff into his backpack.
He didn't need as much as she did. He couldn't gareentee phones would work anymore, or power.
He still grabbed the charger though just in case they got in range to call their older sister.
They had to find her somehow.
They just had to survive until then.
The ten minutes back to the farm passed slowly. Lucky was still thinking about the mess the little town has been in, and how much worse it must be in the bigger cities. It worried him.
They got back to the farm, and the cousins came out to help unload. Tante Sophia came out as well, but upon seeing Vera, she changed from loading to comforting.
"Well, hello there!y name is Sophia, welcome to our home. And who are you?" She was a gentle soul with an inviting smile, and Lucky had always loved how she people at ease.
Vera came so close to crying on the trip back to the farm but held it in not wanting to be a burden to the people that already helped her a lot more then she was expecting.
She moved to get out of the car, cast and all as she leaned against the car she looked up and saw tante Sofia.
She reminded her a little bit of her mom.
"Oh uh- I'm Vera. Vera kizuki miss. They invited me to come stay at your house, I injured my foot but I can still help out." She spoke, close to crying again about how she reminded her of her mother even if just a little bit.
Tanta Sophia could tell Vera was on the verge of tears, and moved in to give her a hug.
"You poor dear… come inside, sit down, and have something to eat. We'll get you taken care of." he gestured at the farm boys. "They'll do the heavy lifting, don't you worry about that."
Lucky watched his aunt work her calming magic. He was glad they'd brought Vera, but he worried.
He was planning on leaving the farm. This close to the nuke in Washington, they'd be getting fallout pretty soon, and he didn't want to stick around for that. He needed to get back to Europe and get to Marie.
He worried if Vera stayed and they all got sick or died, that he'd feel responsible. He had no clue how he would even know that, but… well. It worried him.
Vera hugged her back, giving that little extra squeeze as she sniffled. She didn't want to cry all over this nice women's clothes as she just met her but she felt a comforting presence from her. She moved to nod along with what she was saying, wiping her eyes a bit from time to time as they would leak a tear or two.
"Alright…thank you for having me." She spoke, still feeling bad she couldn't help out.
Tante Sophia just continued giving her a warm smile, though she cut the boys a look that said Unload everything. She gently guided Vera into the farmhouse and towards the kitchen.
"Have you eaten recently? We were prepping breakfast."
Ally, Lucky's only girl cousin, smiled at her from where she was scrambling some eggs. "You like eggs and bacon?"
(think that catches us up!)
Vera let the women guide her into the farm house, towards the kitchen. She looked at Ally and smiled down at her nodding. "Yeah, I do."
She couldn't help but be reminded of her little sister when she saw ally, she knew that she wasn't that young anymore and was definitely getting taller then vera byt she was always gonna be her younger sister.
She wiped some more tears from her eyes, not wanting to full out sob.
please be safe.
Arellio took his sisters hand, moving to make sure she had everything she needed before walking down the stairs.
He looked at his learners permitt that he had just gotten recently. Would the laws be different now that there was a nuclear explosion?
He hoped so. Maybe if he just, stayed calm he could act as if he had his license.
He took a deep breath before exhaling.
"Ruby, don't forget Mr teddy okay? We probably wont be back for a while."
He moved to walk with her downstairs and grabbed the keys to his car. Well, he'd bought the car after working hard enough to afford one. So technically it was his car.
He walked outside with her and moved to throw his stuff in the back.
She walked with him, holding Close to the pink teddybear in her arms.
"Alright" She nodded, holding an even tighter grip on the teddy bear and his hand.
She put her backpack on the ground infront of her as she got in the car.
She put her seat belt on and waited for him.
(You wanna add any other characters to connect with the sibs?)
(I can if you'd like me to)
Name: Ronaldo Vale, but he asks that you please don't call him Ronaldo. Ronnie or just Vale works.
Appearance: Ronnie is roughly 5'10"/1.8m tall and weighs around 170lbs/78kg. He's Caucasian, with hazel eyes, dark brown hair cut in a classic 'high and tight' style, and the tan of a military man regularly out in the sun. He's relatively muscular, but not built, since the military pushes function over aesthetics.
Clothing: Wears the typical Marine Woodlands camo, fatigues/combat uniform. Occasionally dons a ghillie suit as needed. Also uses Plate Carrier armor with edge-blade and spike protection. Tac gloves, combat boots, and a specialized helmet/face mask complete his outfit.
Personality: Ronnie is a competitive individual, but is generally quiet about it. He excels at things because he pushes himself. He can be reckless and impulsive, but he usually has sound thinking, even if rushed. He's from an average background, a rural town in Washington State, dad was a doctor, mom a teacher, so he's generally well-adjusted. Average intelligence for a military specialist- smarter than the average man- and good situational awareness. He also does well with empathy and understanding other people's emotional states. He's good with kids, not so good with the ladies, and gets along best with other military guys.
Specialties: Ronnie is an exceptional marksman with just about any weapon he can get his hands on. He's also highly trained in close-quarters, hand-to-hand combat with weapons ranging from knives and spikes to quarter-staves to just his fists. Being from an immigrant family, he speaks Italian, Spanish, English, Esperanto, and is picking up more Russian the longer his platoon is in the country. He's also particularly good at setting snares and traps, conventional and unconventional. He is the team sniper and trapper. He also sometimes helps the civilian liaisons when dealing with locals, particularly if kids are involved.
(did we establish where the siblings were? Ronnie can run into them during evacuation)
(In the housing area where Vera was near)
When the first bomb fell, the nation went wild. People stayed calm out East, though anybody in major cities like NYC or Washington D.C. immediately evacuated out to more rural areas. But there was generally order, no looting, no mob mentality.
But out West, closer to where the bomb fell, there was pandemonium. California was panicking, and with good reason. Nuclear blasts in the megaton range could trigger the fault lines and cause earthquakes. Washington State was a mess, as people fled south or north, hoping to get into Canada.
Looting was rampant. Folks were grabbing whatever they could get their hands on and fleeing out into the rural areas. Farms were being overrun as city folk fled the highly populated areas.
Wyoming was a little better, but only because there were no massive cities. Cheyenne was the biggest population center, and eve it was pretty small.
However, the military was still mobilizing across the West. The word from on high was that martial law was going into effect; the National Guard and any Army reserves available would be called out to help settle the chaos and guide evacuation efforts.
For Ronnie Vale, the timing couldn't have been worse. He was on active duty, and should have been shipping out to fight whenever they found out where the bombs had come from. Russia was the prime suspect, but there was nothing certain yet. Instead, he'd been on leave in Hawk Springs, Wyoming, where his sister, his only family, was from. He was on leave, with no easy way to get back to the base unless Lisa drove him.
So when Hawk Springs descended into quiet pandemonium, the orders were to reinforce local law enforcement. The police were doing their best to kee a lid on the looting, but it was bad. Lisa lived in town; she worked as a bank teller at the small Hawk Springs bank. Ronnied had been staying with her.
The rumbling of the explosion states away woke him, and he was lacing up his boots and strapping into his Kevlar by the time Lisa woke up.
"You gotta go help?" she asked quietly. Ronnie just nodded slowly at her.
"What should I do, Ronnie?" Lisa was standing in the kitchen in her pajamas, watching him prep to go out. The reality had clearly set in for her.
"Get in the truck and head Northeast." Ronnie glanced up from where he was grabbing his weapons from under his bed. "Pack a suitcase of clothes that will cover you from fallout, grab anything that works as currency, make sure you've got some non-perishable food, and grab your ID's. If you can get to the Canadian border, that might be your best bet." He looked at her for a long moment. "Take your phone. It likely won't work, but maybe eventually, I can get ahold of you and find you."
Lisa nodded quickly. Ronnie always had a plan. Their parents had died in a car crash when she was in college, and Ronnie was younger. He'd dealt with his grief by jumping right into the military out of highschool.It had made him a quiet leader, and a strong man she looked up to, despite being 2 years older than him.
"When should I leave?"
"Now. I can make sure you make it out of town, and then you're on your own. Flash your Tricare card at checkpoints, and it'll help." The insurance card would mark her as a family member of someone enlisted, and Ronnie knew it would help her stay in the good graces of other military men.
Lisa scurried off to prep, and Ronnie took a moment to settle himself. He was about to step out into a heavily charged area. He was armed, but a lot of the locals would be too, so that wasn't necessarily as big an advantage as it might usually be.
Just try not to shoot anyone you know.
He stepped out onto the porch, and began visually checking where he might be needed. Downtown was a mess, with flashing police lights and sirens going off. Obviously, that would be the worst spot. The residential area Lisa lived in wasn't a target, as most of the looters were coming from there anyway.
In the couple of minutes he stood there, gauging the situation, Lisa was ready. She didn't have a ton of stuff, and not much she was attached to, so that made it easy. The truck was packed, Lisa was bundled and ready to go.
They hopped in the truck and headed for the main interstate that cut through Hawk Springs. Cars and vehicles were everywhere, some ignoring the roads altogether and opting to drive through people's yards. Ronnie drove, and tried to take it easy on the truck.
This thing has to last her as long as possible, I can't wreck it now.
They made it towards the outskirts of town, and Ronnie could see a checkpoint up ahead. He got out as the truck came to a stop, stuck behind other cars, and hustled up the line of cars towards the police. They immediately tensed, seeing this heavily armed individual jogging up, but he made sure they could see his patches, name and rank.
"Corporal Ronnie Vale, here to back you up. Can I ask why we've got a checkpoint going on?"
Over the next little bit, the cops explained that it wasn't really to stop people or even catch criminals. They were just trying to control the flow of traffic so that the interstate didn't turn into a massive traffic jam. Ronnie could appreciate that. He watched as they let the cars through slowly, and when Lisa came up to the gate, she rolled down the window. He kissed her cheek, she hugged around his neck, and after a brief moment, she was gone, headed towards Canada, and hopefully, safety.
Everything was good for about another hour, until people started to get more restless. The police hadn't really made any stops, though Ronnie had definitely seen guys much to young to be properly licensed driving out of the city. They weren't here to stop people from trying to live, just stopping them from trying to hurt others.
There was a sedan in the front of the line, ready to go, and Ronnie was about to wave them through, when gunfire erupted about three cars back. The cops on either side of him dropped to the ground, one bleeding from a neck wound, the other grabbing at his leg and scrambling for cover. Ronnie immediately slapped the hood of the sedan, and they gunned it, driving off towards safety. He scooted up next to the truck that was next in line. There were two teens in it, and Ronnie could see their wide eyed expressions as he laid his SCAR over the hood and started returning fire.
The hicks who were trying to cut the line were shooting small arms fire from their truck. They were angry and afraid and trying to use force to get their way, in a panic. They sprayed lead across the cars in front of them, hitting a few cops and breaking a lot of windows.
In contrast, Ronnie's iron control of his emotions combined with his near-perfect aim made his military grade rifle a death-dealer. He fired 6 shots, killed 6 idiots, and immediately brought order to the situation.
He only realized after the fact that the window of the truck he was behind had shattered, and the girl sitting near it was grabbing at her arm. Ronnie wasn't sure if she was hurt or just scared, so he moved to check on her.
"You two good?"
"RUBY GET DOWN!" He yelled, immediately duckling down and pushing his sisters head down as he heard the gunfire, he didn't like yelling at his sister, but he didn't want to take any chances.
He was breathing heavily as he stayed down low on top of his sister as much as he could when he saw someone sitting behind the truck.
a military officer?
He watched as he took out the bozos firing the shots and moved to sit up, keeping ruby down as he felt something graze his arm.
He winced, looking down and seeing his clothes wripped and some blood started leaking out of his arm.
"Hey- hey ruby it's okay, it's just a scratch. I'll patch it right up and everything will be okay."
She was still super anxious despite his comforting words, she held her arms and her teddy bear close to her as she look at the blood dripping down his arm.
She didn't know what to think, she jumped a little bit when she heard the military officer ask her a question.
She had tears built up in her eyes.
"H-he, he's hurt." She sniffles, pointing at Arellio.
Who was definitely too young to drive.
He cursed under his breath.
"Hello sir, just got grazed is all. I'm sure it's fine."
Ronnie moved around by the window. The girl seemed to be ok, just shaken, but the boy was bleeding. It wasn't a lot of blood, but Ronnie wasn't sure he hadn't been hit by a bullet.
"Pull off and hop out for me, buddy, lemme take a look at your arm." He indicated where the teen should pull the truck. The cops were still behind him, so he turned to check. The two who'd been injured had been pulled off the road by the others, and were receiving medical attention behind some of the road blocks. Ronnie glanced at the line of cars behind the truck, and grimaced, thinking.
This isn't going to go well.
He moved to do as the officer said, pulling over to the side and out the line and parking the car.
"Stay inside Ru, okay?"
He winced as he opened the door.
She nodded to him.
He got out of the car and shut the door, locking it behind him.
Ronnie watched him get out and dug around in his pack for some bandages. He stepped over to the teen and gently began checking his arm over.
No direct bullet hit. He was right, just a graze.
It was bleeding a lot, but nothing serious had been hit. Ronnie proceeded to wrap the wound.
He could tell the kid was nervous, and he wanted to try to help him relax.
"…If you're worried you're going to be in trouble for driving without a license, don't be." Ronnie looked him in the eyes, for a moment, before looking back down at what he was doing. "As long as you're not being stupid, we're not going to stop you."
He tied off the bandage and looked back up. "Where are you going? Got family somewhere?" Kids this young on their own was… worrying.
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