"Thank you..." said Brian just as Stephanie turned away and followed Mallory outside.
Now it was just him and Zubin. And Nina as well, as far as Brian knew, seeing as he had yet to realise that she had left for good as well. As much as he wanted to believe that they would see each other again, a part of him still felt like that was the last he would ever see of Mallory. At least he got a chance to hang out with her one last time, something which he probably won't be able to do with most of his friends. And who knows, maybe they really will meet again someday.
Until then, now seemed as good a time as any to start getting to work.
"Hmm, lets see. First things first, I think we ought to start exploring our surroundings. Never know what you might find in these houses if you look hard enough..."
Several hours later, Brian began to suspect that if there might not be anything useful in the houses after all.
Not that his search proved to be completely fruitless or anything. In the first couple of houses he'd found plenty of pens, pencils and paper which Zubin could probably use, as well as plenty of spare wood from the more decayed buildings. He even found a hefty collection of boardgames in the house they had stayed in, although he was well aware that it would be pointless to play them. After all, they didn't have enough players for most of them.
But when it came to finding useful tools, supplies or anything that would help them get a better idea as to where exactly they were Brian found nothing. What little food he did find was horrifically out of date, and anything which could remotely resemble a computer was conspicuously missing. In a way, it didn't really surprise him. Of course the terrorists would have made sure that there was nothing left that could help make their escape a lot easier. Whilst Brian wasn't sure of the details, he was vaguely aware that the last escape attempt was made possible because of the equipment that had been left behind during the last game. Or something like that.
Not helping matters was the fact that they spent the first couple of hours trying to figure out where Nina had gone. At first he assumed that something had happened whilst she had gone out for a bit of fresh air, like a killer or something had snatched her away when they weren't looking. It was only after an hour or so of looking around that it finally occurred to him that maybe Nina had decided to leave as well, only unlike Mallory she wasn't so open about it. Which meant that it really was just him and Zubin left.
So much for sticking together as a team...
At the very least, Brian was able to get a better idea as to his surroundings. As it turned out, the house they had stayed in was part of an area that the map referred to as the 'gated community', which judging from the types of houses that littered the area meant that it was where all the rich fat cats used to live in order to get away from the unwashed masses. There were twenty houses in total, although Brian only explored four of them thoroughly, seeing as by the time he had finished exploring the fourth he came to conclusion that there probably wasn't much to find. The fact that he found a particularly nasty looking wasp's nest in the basement certainly didn't help.
By the time he had checked the last house, he realised that it was beginning to get dark. Turns out that exploring twenty houses ate up a lot of your spare time, especially if you'd spent the majority of the morning looking for someone who had already left. The only thing left for Brian to explore was the guard station near the front gate.
It was at this guard station that Brian found a number of uniforms, one of which looked just his size. Unable to resist the temptation, Brian swapped his leather jacket for one of the security jackets, then put on a cap with the word "Security" on it. With his new security gear on, he stepped outside and posed near the front gate, pretending to check the ID's of imaginary guests.
"Evenin' ma'am, I'm gonna have to check your ID first before I can let you into this here community..." he said, putting on a particularly bad southern accent.
Well, that was amusing for about ten seconds. Better head back before...
There was someone in the distance. Two people in fact. He couldn't quite make out who from where he was standing, but from the looks of things they were both armed to the teeth.
"Oh shit..." he whispered underneath his breath, ducking down behind the guard station as he prayed that they didn't spot him. He knew that he should have been more cautious, that it was only a matter of time before someone else happened across their supposed sanctuary. Of course, it was possible that these newcomers were friendly, but on the off chance that they weren't what the hell could he possibly do about it?
Nowhere really to hide, and it's only a matter of time before they show up. God damnit, what the hell do I do?
He gulped, wiping a bead of sweat from his brow as he peaked around the corner. If he could just figure out who was heading towards him, than maybe he could...
He recognised one of the two figures immediately.
No way. Could it be...
((Ruby Forrester continued from Check Out My New Weapon, Weapon of Choice
Ruby stopped dead in her tracks, lowering her gun as her eyesight adjusted to the darkness.
She and Ami had been traveling for the majority of the day, only stopping once near the beach to have some quick dinner before continuing on towards the town. They had decided after a while to try heading towards an area the map referred to as the gated community, the idea being that perhaps there they would find a more secure place to hide than the small house they had stayed in the previous night.
They were cautious of course, avoiding open spaces or traveling too loudly, but it also meant that it took longer for them to travel than it would have if they were more carefree about it. As a result, it was dusk by the time they had reached the gated community.
However, whilst Ruby had anticipated the possibility of bumping into other people who had decided to take refuge in the gated community, she had not expected to find none one of the few people she was actively on the lookout for.
"Ruby!" exclaimed Brian, a smile on his face and tears running down his cheeks as he ran towards his closest friend, embracing her as though it had been years since they had last seen one another.
After getting over the initial shock of having found her childhood friend alive and unhurt, Ruby was quick to return Brian's embrace, even allowing a tear or two of her own to run down her cheeks.
"My god, I... I thought I'd never get see you again!" said Brian as he loosened his bear hug.
"I thought I'd never see you again either!" replied Ruby, taking a step back to look the clothes Brian was wearing. "Er, what's with the security guard get-up?"
Brian shrugged, drying his eyes with his jacket's sleeve. "Dunno really, thought it'd be funny..." he replied, letting out a small laugh as he took the cap off. "So what've you been doing all this time?"
Now it was Ruby's turn to shrug. "Surviving, I guess. I bumped into Ami the other day, and we've traveling together since."
"Same here. Zubin's around somewhere, probably waiting for me back at the house. We should probably head back inside before it gets dark..."
He looked over Ruby's shoulder at Ami, noting the particularly large gun she was carrying. "Hey! I, uh, don't think we've ever really spoken before..."