Please see below my first post. Am looking for a female character to Join Richie through good and ill.....
Everyone knew the economy was struggling. People adapted, cut back, got used to it. They muddled through, as people always do. Then things got worse. Cutting back wasn't enough. There were protests, then riots, then martial law was declared in many areas.
Soon the military was spread too thin to be effective anywhere. State by state, region by region, the federal government gave up, pulling back and leaving the country to fend for itself. Many states rallied, managing to cling to some remnants of order, and for a time it seemed that perhaps something of the nation might remain intact.
Then the diseases came. First was influenza, descendant of the great influenza epidemic of 1918, cutting down young men and women in their prime. Some called it a divine judgment, others claimed it was a bioattack, but whatever its cause, its timing could not have been worse.
Weakened, the survivors were no match for the next disease, a plague unlike any the world had ever seen before. It swept through the remains of the United States with frightening speed, spreading from coast to coast in barely two weeks. No disease can kill everyone, but those who were left were adrift, struggling simply to survive. Gangs hoarded food, weapons, water, anything that could be hoarded, and life soon dissolved into a series of desperate battles over these few necessities.
The survivors huddled in the cities for the most part, gangs staking out territories, raiding each other, driven beyond all the rules they grew up with by their desperation. Inside one of those cities, once known as Chicago, a hospital still stood -- stripped of its drugs and supplies, but inside there were still some things untouched by the ravages. One room held a man, wounded but alive. And now he was waking up at last from a long sleep, about to find that there was nothing left of the world he'd known...
The fog was lifting and Richie Bravery slowly began to be aware. The first thought that run through his mind was one of clarity. He could feel his heart beating, the blood rushing around his body and the sweet air being sucked into his lungs and exhaled.
The fog lifted some more and he found his eyes were stuck together and his limbs felt weak. His hand slowly lifted to wipe the crust from his eyelids. The clarity gave way to confusion. Sight instead of settling him some more gave rise to fear. His vision was blurred and he felt weak.
Through the murky haze of his vision he found himself in a bright room with hospital cables connected to his body. Slowly within seconds his vision began to clear and the cables were swiped away one after the other making him cry with his dry coarse raspy throat.
Sitting up slowly he looked around at the empty room. He felt confused and dazed and waited for someone to come and find him. But slowly time passed and his new found curiosity saw the lack of power to the monitoring machines next to him, the cobwebs that spread from cable to cable. The room also had an untidy look to it. CHairs were on the floor and one surface remained tidy.
He called out with his raspy voice and he realised it barely reached the corridor so he slowly made his way to his feet. The door to the room was locked with no sign of a key. He moved to the table and paused as he caught sight of himself in a mirror.
He found it hard to recognise anything in the reflection. He then realised he did not remember much at all....That would come back to him though.
The gaunt face that looked back at him must have been once ruggedly handsome but it was now covered in a thick beard and long straggly unkempt hair fell around his face. The body was thin and emaciated and looked uncared for.
At Six foot two he was tall and must have been broad and well built once but the thin arms and legs poking out of the backless hospital gown showed signs of malnutrition.
He made his way to the table and tried to understand why the rest of the room was a mess and the table had been organised. It dawned on him when he began to investigate the contents...
Everything on the table seemed ready to be packed up for a long and uncertain camping trip. There were medical supplies -- no surprise here, of course -- but they were packed into a sort of crash kit, like a paramedic might use, ready to be hauled off at an instant's notice. Canned goods, candy bars, and some packages of freeze-dried meat and other such items were neatly stacked, and two large, unopened bottled of water completed the picture.
The lights, that had seemed so bright when he first opened his eyes, he now realized were on a low emergency setting, though this was currently supplemented by a ray of bright sunshine coming through the one small window. It was slanted low, but whether the sun was just rising or just setting Richie had no way to know.
There was a narrow storage locker in the room as well, the door ajar and the contents half-spilling out, but now he could see there were some clothes there. To make the scene even more disorienting, he now realized that, except for the faint buzz of the fluorescent lights and his own raspy breathing, he could hear nothing at all. The silence was complete and deafening.
He quickly opened one of the bottles of water and took sips from it. His mouth felt as though it was full of cotton wool but as soon as he took a sip he felt his stomach clenching. He would have to take it slow. He did not know how long he had been asleep.
The water was refreshing though and he took another sip and felt it trickle all the way down. Slowly he made his way to the door and found it looked and no sign of the key. He moved a little faster now to the window to see if he could see anything. The silence was deafening. Where were all the cars?
He peered out to see what he could see...
The window revealed little, except an equally deserted-looking building across the way, and a small stretch of the road below. He looked to be on the third floor, and if he stretched and craned his neck a little, he could just see an intersection, empty of cars, guarded by a dead stoplight. A pigeon flew by, then another, but nothing else moved as far as he could see. There didn't even seem to be any sign of a breeze, let alone of another human being...
Looking around he was still rather dazed and confused.
He realised that he would need to investigate further but did not want to try dressed in just an open backed gown. He made his way to the locker that he had noticed earlier. It seemed to have some clothes in it. He opened the door wide and picked everything up off the floor and from the shelves and dumped them on the bed so he could go through it all...
There seemed to be one complete set of clothes, from underwear to socks to a button-down shirt and jeans. There was also a light spring jacket, a wallet, and a cell phone, all tumbled together messily, but nothing seemed to have been taken. The jacket pocket held what looked to be a set of house keys and perhaps a car key, but there was also one loose in the same pocket, an ordinary-looking door key.
He put the keys, the wallet and the phone to one side and quickly got dressed. Something was happening and he felt very confused but he was not going to leave without getting dressed.
He put on the jacket last and looked around once more. Checking the bedside table and under the bed to see if there anything else he might need.
The bedside table held only a few odds and ends like pens and pencils in its single drawer, but something about it seemed awkwardly heavy, he realized. When he pulled the drawer out all the way, he discovered a large hunting knife taped to the back of the drawer with duct tape; and below, in the space between the drawer and the top of the opening below, rested a small handgun. It was fully loaded, but there didn't seem to be any more ammunition around, and there were few hiding places left in the small room.
Something was seriously wrong and he had the feeling that he would need the gun and knife. He checked the gun and found it to be loaded.
He could not remember why but he was familiar with the gun. It was at that point he realised he could not remember anything. Just stuff but nothing about himself.
He placed the gun in the back of his trousers and dropped the knife in the back. He filled the bag with the water and food and threw it over his shoulder.
He then returned to the bed and turned the mobile on. He wanted to see if there was anything on the phone that would tell him who or what was happening. As it powered up he checked the contents of the wallet.
The phone powered up smoothly, but after several long seconds of searching, it bleeped and informed him that he was no longer in the service area. It also attempted to sync up the time, but failed there as well.
Inside the wallet, he found an ID card informing him that his name was Richard Bravery, of London, England, and that he worked for a company called Digitech. There was some cash, a mixture of English pounds and U.S. dollars, along with several travellers' checks. Aside from a few receipts, the only other item was a small photo, of him with a young woman, outside on a bright, sunny day, with their arms around each other and both laughing at the camera.
He didnt remember the girl or the photo. He presumed this was him though. Well he seemed to have plenty of money so that should not be a problem.
Pocketing the keys he took the single key out and moved towards the door. He had yet to try the door but he had assumed it would be look and at a try he was proved right.
Listening for any noise outside he was greeted with the eerie silence once more so he tried the lone key in the lock...
The key fit, and turned reluctantly, and the door opened onto more silence. There was not a single sign of life in the halls, only overturned carts and wheelchairs, and scattered papers and other odds and ends. The nurse's station down the hall had clearly been ransacked, wildly and thoroughly, with drawers thrown open, papers torn, and even the computer smashed. A long smear of blood ran down one wall at about shoulder height, before vanishing around a corner.
He began to search the rooms until he found a room much like his. A girl or woman was asleep, unconscious or dead. He was not sure which. She was tied up and unable to move. She was skinny and suffering from malnutrition. He looked the door and checked the blinds. He was not sure what was happening....Where was everyone... Who was this girl? Why was she tied up?
He tried to give her some water.... It was a few hours later when she began to wake.....