Ghost Town (IC)
The old army green jeep bounced and jostled it's way across the rutted prairie, leaving a cloud of dust in it's wake. Alex squinted against the harsh autumn sunlight and sat up straighter to get a better view from the passenger seat. How much farther can it possibly be? she wondered impatiently. According to the map, it should be right here.
From the corner of her eye she watched the driver suspiciously. She didn't know any of her crew personally, and she didn't like it one bit. The unexpected and unknown never sat well with her at all. They had long ago lost the rest of the expedition, her constant urging for the driver to go faster across the rough landscape forced him to outpace their fellows.
At long last, a row of low buildings appeared on the horizon like huddled, sleeping giants.
"We're here!" She announced jubilantly. Finally... she finished in her head, with a sigh.
When the jeep slowed to a stop some distance from the buildings, she hopped out and took a few steps toward the ghost town. "That's funny, it almost looks like there is someone up ahead." She said, shielding her eyes with a thin, pale hand. "The others couldn't have beaten us, they just couldn't have."
Hands on hips, she stared ahead for a few seconds more before turning to her companion, "What do you think? Does it look like someone else is up there to you?"
Without waiting for a response she snatched her knapsack out of the backseat and flung it over a shoulder as she stomped ahead, "They better not have the bright idea to steal our site, or steal from our site. I will have a few choice words for whomever thinks they can take this from me! We need this."
Alex checked the gun she had hidden in the back of the waistband of her pants self consciously, hoping that she wouldn't have to use it. She had heard of the robbers who stole from archaeological sites and sold the artifacts on the black market. There was huge profit to be made stealing genuine native american artifacts, and it was said that there was a burial site nearby.
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John Doe watched the road listlessly from his perch on the chair on the patio of the Sherrif's office. He had leaned back and placed his feet on the railing, pulling his hat down to shade from the sun. He found the spot rather enjoyable, and had been going and sitting at it for the past year. At least, it seemed like a year. Nobody ever kept track any more. One fellow did try to keep track once. After what he claimed to be 3 years, 4 moths, and 29 days he went mad for a while. Mad Theodore they called him now.
His eyes focus as something came into view. It was moving at a high speed. Higher than any horse or train. Behind it a cloud of dust was filling the horizon and the barren landscape that filled the eastern reach of the town was suddenly filled with the movement of disturbed creatures, who had never experienced only one such thing before. John knew what it was. Those hooligans had brought one those many years ago. Now it was simply green, though.
He stretched his arms and legs and got up. Excited to see such variation in his dull life he moved more quickly. He took a quick glance at the cemetery, which seemed to have grow a slight bit bigger. He smirked.The next few days were going to be fun.
He came to a stop in the middle of the road and stared at the self-propelled wagon until it came to a stop. A door opened at the front and a woman came out. She was wearing odd dressing, although it was not as garish as the other folks. She pulled out a kid of bag, John was unfamiliar with the design, and attached it to her backside. He watched as she slowly walked forward.
"Good morning, partner."
Yeira opened her eyes, only to close them once again against the stabbing knife of sunlight that shot down from the heavens directly above. Listlessly, she lifted a single hand up to shield her face- In Tombstone, Oklahoma, it was a lie to say that blindness was darkness, blackness. Piercing through her closed eyelids was a solid wall of red. A crimson world. Blindness was the colour of dried blood.
There was no need for vision, or any of her five senses to assert her surroundings, though. She knew exactly where she was, a foregone conclusion drawn from countless days and repetitions of memories, of experience. She did not need to feel the rough, loose, gritty sand that was staining her dress, nor see the looming head of stone directly above her, or smell the tang of the earth in her nostrils. Where else would she be, besides in the grave?
"Any luck?" She addressed the general air around her.
It was, of course, not the air replying, but words emergent from the body of a brat, the mind of teen. She could sense that infantile body lying beside her. He must've awoken earlier, in the neighbouring hole carved from the dirt, and crawled a painstaking three metres over to where she lay. Painstaking, for a baby, of course. It was her little brother.
He signed, an exclamation of irritation. "You were gone eight minutes after your dress went up in flames. The rope burned the last, seeing as you started the fire with your stockings from below, and by the time your idiotic, charred body plonked into that tub of water I don't think anything in you was alive besides your brain, which of course immediately started drowning. If you're looking to beat your previous record of thirteen minutes, I'll darn say that it's near impossible. You only achieved that the last time through a fluke of luck or something. Now be a cool cat and be sensible, will ya. I'm sick of burning to death alongside you."
"I need someone to keep time, and besides, you owe me too much. Dragging you around with me all day long."
She felt the ground trembling slightly, prompted by the slight rattling of stones against her body. Fully rejuvenated from last night's ordeal, she jumped to her feet, barely missing the arm of the tot that was way too big for his boots. Well, they all were. All the townsfolk were. Everyone. There was something different in the air today, not of the town or place, but with the whiff of external intrusion and the threat of change. Pulling the up roughly by the leg, she lifted him as air as she could tiptoe.
"See anything interesting around you? There's something going on. I think. I hope."
The baby squinted.
"An iron monster. With wheels."
An iron monster. Yeira nodded. The long times had even sapped mythology of interest. She took off running at the direction of the noise.
"Alrighty, let's go see this beast, and maybe we'll find something interesting to do for today."
Having been abandoned in the car by his partner, Ed sat back and waited. Leaving the car alone would just be stupid if there might be people around, filled with expensive equipment as it was. If she needed him she would shout, like usual.