Totality Tales Chapter 1

Chapter 1:

As the sun rises on a cold, blustery day we find our survivor Keyra Eversight waking fairly rested in the bunker. She looks around as she becomes more aware after some unsettling sleep to see her fox named Petra looking at her with curious eyes. She was a loaner before the world went to hell, she is independent, wearing a thick red sweater and light blue jeans.  Keyra grabs some rations to feed her companion and herself, she realizes it seems a lot colder than normal, the sun is pushing some natural light into the room however the lights are dimmer than she remembers. Damn it! She exclaims, time to get out and find some tools to get this all working properly. She knows that if the others in the bunker stand a chance, they will need to have the systems working again. She prepares her pack, filled with the necessary survival tools and looks at Petra, “Time to get out and see what we can find, I think I remember a neighborhood close with some big houses”. Petra looks at her as if she is understanding, however the fox just knows that she gets food from her master.

As she heads to the bunker doors a scrawny old man grabs her by the arm, “My wife is hiding nearby, she has a radio however mine is broken so I need some equipment to fix it to contact her to let her know it’s safe here”. Keyra looks at the man and asks; “What’s your name, I will do my best to find what you need, I leave shortly so as to maximize the night”. The man says, “I am Able, my wife is Isabelle, I appreciate all the help you have to give”. She scrambles off into the night to start her journey…

Keyra proceeds outside to the area which she remembers a good-sized neighborhood, she finds a fenced area with some decent size houses in the distance, climbing and going over the fence she then realizes there is trouble! A shout comes forth from a nearby home, almost unrecognizable as human, Bandits known as The Scrag are common around these parts. Keyra notices after she dropped down many of the houses have a rough painted noose mostly white with some off-white areas from weather, Scrag symbols, hardened warriors wearing many layers looking rough and dirty. Run by savage dictators they are promised hope but are often never shown a way out of their meek existence. “Invader!” As the seemingly male voice shouts at her the bandit approaches. Keyra quickly thinks and grabs a nearby rock to hurl it over the other fence nearby, “Come of fellas get him!” She hopes to distract this bandit, he turns and thinks he sees more people and decides to investigate, “You can’t sneak up on me!” he exclaims, and Keyra wanders towards an abandoned car she sees close by. As she approaches the car, she sees nothing nearby, so she investigates inside, slightly warmer in here but not by much she seems to find the seat covers loose, packed inside are some granola bars, candy and gum, “Nice, a little snack for the bunker”. She proceeds further into the neighborhood to search more; she detects a mumbling voice off towards a shed and hopes it’s not another Scrag. It is not, a young female woman sits bundled up and talking to herself she is incomprehensible, “Are you OK?’ Keyra claims, but no real response to anything she says, realizing this woman is unfortunately beyond help she moves along. As she approaches a larger house that looks very inviting there is another car close to the driveway, she decides to investigate it closer, she fails to notice another Scrag has been lurking near this location. The Scrag looks over at her and simultaneously the eyes meet, long stringy hair all greasy under several scarves the Scrag moves toward her. Keyra notices a larger structure next to the neighborhood so decides to run towards it, maybe she can lose this bandit inside there, running at full speed Keyra finds an open side door and scrambles inside. After a good 2 hours she emerges from this industrial building with no bandit in tow, “Gosh, I lost time but at least did not have to deal with my ugly over there”. She then sees a larger house on the opposite side of where she came in so she will investigate that location. Not seeing the heavy barrels laced with goo that irradiates massive levels of poison gas she gets away fast but feels nauseous.

This house seems to be an old colonial which is surprisingly in decent shape considering many areas here are wrecked, she carefully starts to scan with her radiation sensor as she searches this house. Many of the furnishings and wall hanging seem intact, however very dusty, she moves into the front hall to scope this place out. As she moves through a doorway most of this structure seems fairly safe and a little less of a hot zone then most places, as she enters a larger room an older man who seems to be looking at another doorway notices Keyra, “Oh! I need you to help me!” he barks over to her; she cautiously approaches the man scanning the room. She hands some food rations to the man who thanks her, “I think some mutant thing lives behind this doorway!” The man scurries away, not wanting to go further, the bed on the corner of the house where the radiations higher have a creepy doll upon it, the desk near the bed has notepads, pens, working calculator and a compass. She snags the equipment and the doll as it does talk so it could be a toy for a child, even in this world any toy is welcome. She moves towards the door, listens and hears scratching and slight growling, caution is needed for sure as she opens it up to look inside. The room is empty but smells of rotten flesh, a sole rat scurries past, Petra snarls at the rat but as you look past that rat a creature stands with its back to you seemingly eating something. Upon closer examination she sees a large man mostly decayed laying below with a burnt mangy two headed dog! “Rumors are true!” She carefully avoids its gaze, but it is solely interested in the meal, bloodied and hungry it feasts without notice of Keyra. Petra stays nervous but curious of the creature, Keyra softly commands her fox to follow her and ignore the dog, “I’ll inform the bunker of this find!” she exclaims. On a nearby desk there sits a dusty globe, it opens, and a bottle of southern comfort and some glasses are inside, excellent find! A small box sits in here which once housed a deck of cards, now it is just an empty rotting box. Down the hall Keyra finds another doorway in the halls, it almost feels like its alive as she opens this to find a very hot zone that immediately hits her like a burst of sunlight, she moves away, it’s not worth risking more exposure at this point early on. She navigates to the stairs to move up, the area was very cool but changes as soon as she makes it to the top of the stairs, she wants to search but is starting to feel the results of a lot of exposure, gritting her teeth she crawls over to a window and climbs to a fire escape to leave this hot zone to search further in this neighborhood.

Keyra walks slowly and cautiously through many abandoned structures that seem lifeless, as she makes it closer to a clearing, she notices a larger structure with a large, paved lot, “A mall! great!” she gasps, “I am sure there are great things to find there”. She moves closer to the mall as the lights are flickering at best all around the parking structure, old storefronts in various states of ruin and decay. As she enters the double glass doors immediately the multi-level structure shows such a high and hot zone that Keyra buckles down to the floor in pain, vomiting and getting severe stomach pains. The sickness has begun, sadly it is not a short experience for her as she stays for a good 20 minutes to recover enough to press forward, she needs to get the last supplies and make it back, so she presses on. The next store seems to be an old convenience store, it seems also to be much cooler then the rest of the mall, on the floor she spots a Ziploc bag, packed inside are raisins and nuts well preserved in all this crazy mess, she snags it for her pack plus when she does there is a sack not far from her, some shriveled veggies but still some food for the bunker. “I need to find more hardware”, she exclaims as she scans further to this storefront. As the zone seems to intensify, she finds more bags of nuts and raisins, however her sickly feeling comes back to haunt her! While she bends to vomit yet again, she twists her ankle and hears a resounding snap! “owww!!” Not good! Her foot is busted open through the sock, she quickly wraps it as best as possible with her scarf as Petra whimpers seeing her in pain. She gets back up; she needs to continue for many rely on her to succeed. As she approaches a counter with an area where they used to have stocks inside the shelves, she finds a basket of dried food goods and a good size bottle of water, she grabs them and takes a couple radiation pills to calm her stomach so she can hopefully complete this mission. Progressing through the hallway she finds the remnants of a food stand which still has many cans of food left on it, she talks to Petra as if she understands, “Well, we can at least feed the bunker tonight” a slight smile and wince in pain appears on her face, Petra whimpers slightly as if replying. As she enters a doorway her foot swollen and painful into her leg up to her thigh, she moves slower but with purpose, this area looks to be an old coffee house with lots of furniture scattered all over the place, a mural is painted on the nearby wall showing Kamal, with the word next to the figure saying, “Kamal Rises!” The rumor is true, the new leader of the Splashheads, bandits who commonly use paint to coat themselves to seemingly protect themselves from radiation, usually violent however also will be crazed spilling paint all over instead of fighting.

As Keyra moves forward in this large mall hallway, she starts to get dizzy, the world is spinning uncontrollably, Petra looks up at her and she looks down at the fox, “I can’t feel my legs Petra, I am sorry " Keyra collapses to the ground, her thoughts fading as she drops the supplies and unfortunately succumbs to the radiation surrounding her body, Petra whimpers and slowly scampers back to the bunker. As the fox approaches the bunker she paws the door, after a few moments the door latch slides and it opens, a young man wearing a worn track suit sees the fox, he looks sad as he realizes Keyra must be lost, Nick Shirhad looks at the fellow bunker mates, “she is gone I fear, I will continue forward in her honor”. The door closes slowly and gets latched firmly in place.

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