Previous Next

Bringing Home the Goodies

Posted on Tue Apr 16th, 2024 @ 9:46pm by Hale Stratton [Major, United States Army] & Alonzo Blazevic & René Rouen & Reuben Baptiste & Vienna Quinn & Killian Sutton & Calista Sutton & Victoire Olaffson [Lieutenant, United States Navy] & Civilian Thea Matthews

2,320 words; about a 12 minute read

Mission: Winter is Coming
Location: House Outside of Blast Zone, Maine
Timeline: 5 September 2010 - 7:20 p.m.

[At the Convenience Store}

While Vic checked on Thea, Hale got to work on hauling stuff out to the Cherokee. Not a lot of storage room but enough if he packed it to the ceiling. With that in mind, he cleaned out the plastic wrapped water bottles and then came back in to see what was next.

Vienna was busy, grabbing what empty boxes she could find she quickly dashed around grabbing what tinned food, batteries, medical supplies, and other items she could find that were left. She also made sure to grab sanitary products too, finding a stash of left over toilet rolls hiding away in a cupboard behind the till. Filling up the boxes she put them by the door. “They’re a bit mixed, but I’ve grabbed what there is to get hold of. There’s vitamins for Thea in there too.”

"Good, good," Hale said. He noticed that there was room in one of the boxes and went behind the counter to gather up a box of disposable lighters and two cartons of cigarettes -- the only two that were left on the display. Operating on a hunch, he headed back into the office and found a few sitting on the desk, probably the clerk's favorite. He swapped what he had for what was on the desk, four in total, and dropped all of that into the box as well.

It took a few minutes, first to bring everything out to the vehicle and then to figure out how to get it all in but he managed without too much brute force. Finally, Hale closed the rear hatch and nodded in satisfaction.

"All packed," Hale said as he came back into the store. "You all ready to head out?"

Thea gave those with her a curious look. “Where is it we’re going? Admittedly I don’t really have anywhere else to go.”

“Don’t worry” Vienna offered Thea a warm smile. “There are more people in our group we’ve found a house to share not far from here. It’ll be safer than being on your own.”

Thea nodded. “If you’re sure? I don’t want to get in anyone’s way.”

"Not a problem," Hale said though, privately, he did see a problem or two looming. "Everybody in."

Vic started heading toward the car and then stopped, looking at hale. "You got anything that isn't your knife but that might be able to pry a secure door open?? This place has a pharmacy, I spotted it over your shoulder when you first headed in and it looked mostly secure still.

[Meanwhile, Back at the House]

Reuben sat with Kenny on the front stairs. He was feeling the air and looking at the sky. Kenny was lying down sniffing the wind, which was coming from the west. Reuben was calculating in his head what the weather would be like in the near future but was frustrated because he did not have the necessary equipment. With a heavy sigh he stood up and stretched. "Okay boy, let's make a tour around the property and outside of the house."

Reuben and Kenny were walking a random circuit around the property, keeping an eye, ear and nose look out for any of the Zombies as he had become to accept. Reuben was lost a bit in thought, "Well Kenny I do not think we will find Autumn in this lifetime, perhaps the next. It looks a lot like it will be me, you and this hodge podge of people. Not that I mind the company." he said as they continued to patrol. "I have decided though we are going to sleep in that old barn, smells better than that house." he said with a chuckle. They continued their guard patrol.

A (much) shorter while later, Hale backed the vehicle into the driveway for ease of both unloading and quick escape. He shut down the vehicle, popped the trunk, and hopped out. "Ho the house," he called. "We bring goodies."

Getting out of the vehicle Vienna moved aside so Thea could get out as well. “Welcome to the house Thea.”

Moving to stand alongside Vienna, Thea couldn’t help but wonder if her presence would be problematic.

"Vienna, if you could take Thea inside and send someone out to help, I'll get the unloading started," Hale said. "I'd like us all to be indoors as soon as possible."

René had heard the vehicle driving up the long drive way. He had grabbed his weapons belt and moved to a window to look out. He set his weapons belt down by the front door and exited when he noticed Vienna getting out and helping a woman that was not Vic. He stepped out to the front porch and called over his shoulder. Monsieur Blazevic, Monsieur Baptiste, Commandant Stratton and the others are back and with a working car too."

Reuben had heard a vehicle approaching but had no time to warn the others. He and Kenny took up a hiding position, prepared to attack with his improvised spear, if need be, regretting two things; no firearm and unable to warn the others. He noticed the group had acquired another individual. Stepping wraith like out of the shadows he smiled, "Well major, seems you found another lost soul. It also looks like you have had some luck." Reuben then walked over to help unload the vehicle.

With his back to Thea, Hale mouthed 'lost soul' and chuckled silently. Like the others, he got to work hauling in water, canned goods, and the other bits and pieces that Vienna had found. The last package he carried in went straight to Alonzo; he presented it with a dramatic flourish -- four cartons of cigarettes and a box of disposable lighters. "The clerk was gathering his own supplies," he said quietly. "Found this when I was hunting around for his keys."

The Air Jordan's that he had found in the FedEx truck may have been Christmas to Ethan, but the cigarettes were New Year's Eve for Alonzo. He eyed the cartons serendipitously. "Marlboro Black," he commented accepting the box.

"Damn, you are a good leader," Alonzo stated teasingly. "Thank you. I will ration these," he added.

"One a month would be good," Hale said as, for a moment, warmth bubbled up inside him, leaked out through a brightening of his eyes and a slight crinkling at the corners. "Don't want it to mess with that training I promised you."

Rene, what with Hale taking things out of the jeep and handing off at the porch, carried supplies to the door to give to someone who would take the container to where it would be hand -- food and water to the dining room table and medical supplies to Vic.

As the last of the boxes were unloaded Reuben decided it was best to get back on his security detail. "Okay I have outside security detail for another hour. I plan to sleep in the 'barn' as it doesn't smell as bad, plus it will provide a surprise if any non-zombies decide to attack us. I don't suppose you found any firearms on your trip?"

"Not a one," Hale said, "but there's a place, not too far from here that we can try tomorrow. See what we can get before we start the hike to Vienna's house. Got to say, I don't love you sleeping away from the group but alright. Make sure you get your spot on the night guard before you leave, okay?"

Reuben smiled "I'll finish this shift then take the midnight shift. Don't sleep to well any ways. Kenny is a very good alarm clock if someone approaches, so I should be okay, besides have you smelt that place. I've been in better places in Iraq and the 'Stan."

Alonzo had listened in on the conversation. "Are you sure you don't want any company? Other than Kenny that is. It could be a bit lonely out there."

René looked at the barn and the house. It was already going to be crowded in the house. "I will stay in the barn tonight as well." He looked at Hale. "Your rule. No one goes anywhere alone."

Hale nodded his approval. "That's right. We're safer in numbers than alone." He turned toward Calista and Killian then. "You don't know us and I can understand you being nervous about all of us descending on you like this. Would it be alright if Thea and Vic stayed here in the house with you? The rest of us can stay out in the barn. Give you some room?"

"It's fine if you're all in here. It still smells like death in here unfortunately," Calista commented. "I was able to find clean sheets for the master bed. We can lay down plastic and put the clean sheets on. I don't think anything will clear out the smell."

"We appreciate your willingness to understand our unease. Our keys were lifted from us at the Millinocket airport and our car was liberated during our last group setting," Killian said, resting his arm on his wife shoulder's before kissing her forehead gently. "As much as my wife can be an optimist at times," he said looking at her and then back to Hale, "I don't think they'd want to sleep in that room just yet. If they wouldn't mind sleeping downstairs, we planned on sleeping in the other bedroom upstairs. It'd been easier on all of us if we had stumbled upon a massive farmhouse with many bedrooms and beds accompanying them."

Alonzo tugged on Hale's clothing just to snag his attention for a moment. "How about the vehicle," he inquired. "René, Rueben, and Kenny can take the barn. The rest the house, I'm comfortable enough sleeping in a vehicle if you are. It would spread our people to three points on the property, but that's a plus in defense, right?"

While the others were talking Thea had opted to help out moving some lighter things to the house, she’d only stepped inside for a few moments before the smell that was lingering turned her stomach. “Would you mind...” she gave those planning an apologetic look. “I can’t stay in there, the smell...I don’t mind staying in the barn?”

Vic laughed a little bit and smiled at Thea. "And after all that work they did cleaning the place up... The house needs to be aired out for a few days, lots of natural light to kill the smell of death. Did we get any bleach from our trip?? It will help too... and the upstairs mattress... well bleach might help it as well" She peeked into the house and nodded. "It's a good start on cleaning but before I can set up any form of medical room inside I definitely need one designated for me and it needs a very deep clean."

"If you're all insistent on spreading out, then I have three conditions. One," Hale said, "We aren't staying long enough for a deep cleaning or you setting up a medical room, Vic. We'll be here for tonight, hit the gun shop tomorrow, and then find transportation to get us to back to the trail. Two, the house only has two bedrooms and one of those isn't useable which means its the bedroom and the couch. The Cherokee won't be all that comfortable unless we can get the seats to fold down. If we can do that, Alonzo and I will take that. Three, we'll still need a night watch."

"Now," Hale continued, "how about we get some sort of a meal together? Most of us haven't eaten yet today and I for one am ... starved."

Alonzo looked at Hale. "Is it fine if I take night watch?" he asked. He did not want to volunteer himself if Hale had other plans.

"Alright boss, like I said I will take the midnight watch and..." here he looked at his watch, "...the last forty minutes of this watch." stated Reuben with a smile. At the mention of food Kenny's ears perked up.

"Cal and I have been on our own for so long, it'd be nice if she could get a full night's rest after everything we've gone through. I'd be willing to take a watch," Killian commented.

Calista rolled her eyes at her husband before answering, "I can help out with night watch too."

"Just take the night, Cal, it's fine," Killian replied. He knew his wife wasn't going to easily back down but tonight, he hoped she would.

Vic watched Calista and Killian for a moment and then interjected, eyeing Hale. “I actually have a few things that I suspect you may be able to help me with Calista, they require a bit more careful of a touch than the majority of men have and since René is going to be in the barn and on watch I’m going to need a different assistant. It’ll give me an opportunity to get to know you too!” She said with a light and welcoming smile.

"As the hosts, how about you help with kitchen chores tonight and tomorrow morning and get a good night's sleep. If you decide to continue on with us, I'll add you into the rotation."

"Reuben, as you've already volunteered, you're on Midnight to 2 am with Vienna. I'll take 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. with Alonzo. Vic, you've got 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. with Emma. Rene, you'll have 10 p.m. to midnight with Ethan."

"Reuben, Thea, Ethan and Rene in the barn, me and Alonzo in the Cherokee, and that leaves Vic, Emma, Vienna, Calista and Killian in the house. Vic, you and Emma get to make sure everyone is awake. We'll leave straight after breakfast.


Previous Next

RSS Feed RSS Feed