Under the cuts are a few examples of my writing. I tend to write more out of modern day settings, but all depends on what happens in the scene and my replies fluctuate.
Once upon a time it had been safer to travel during the day than at night, back in the couple of months following the initial outbreak when the infected struck in packs at night without abandon and those without the disease were somewhat human, compassionate, with standing morals. Quickly the government fell and the people were left to fend for themselves, make their own rules, figure out how to survive day by day because long term plans were too much to hope for. Debate still lingered on how it all started, with the most common answer being a vaccine that was supposed to protect against a harsh winter's flu but instead was contaminated and passed a pathogen into recipients that many reacted negatively to. They changed, became nothing but a shell of their former selves: cannibals who only roamed at night, striking at the smell of warm flesh and filling their bellies beyond capacity with a carnal hunger. Others claimed it was God's way of getting back at the world for sinning so much, that Hell had reached it's capacity and this was the rapture spoken of in old scriptures. Whatever the answer, Emerson Barringer didn't care. All she could worry about was how to stay alive until tomorrow came.
When the outbreak first happened the government sprung into action creating safe camps where people flooded in hordes. For a good two months things were okay. People were still dying and getting infected, but the military could hold off the undead and people began to feel safe. That was, of course, until a Souler - a member of a religious cult that worshiped the infected - smuggled in an contaminated person that ruined the governments largest safe bunker just outside Washington DC. Everything changed then. Emie had heard from various scragglers she'd come across in her travels that the government had tried to create a cure for the infected, which they'd tested on inmates from Sing Sing. What they hadn't expected was the reaction many of the men had to the drug; if they didn't die from the initial injection they turned beserker only worse. These men were killing machines, nothing more; they'd massacred so many their strain of the virus overtook the DC area, spreading like a wildfire. People had felt safe and now the game had changed in an entirely new way.
Emerson had been fast asleep, exhausted from walking nearly twenty miles that day, in room 104 of a Holiday Inn when she heard the first scream. They were in a little town forty miles from Frankfort in Kentucky, simply surviving and not heading in any particular direction with a destination in mind. This wandering had caused a fight with Everett, her twin sister, earlier that evening. A screaming match left the two blondes storming into different rooms for the evening - normally they stayed together, the only survivors of their immediate family. There was no mistaking the scream she'd heard a dozen times from the first time Zack Palmer had asked Ever to prom to when Emerson would give her other half titty twisters while they wrestled around behind their parents home. Sleeping with a gun had become normal behavior since the outbreak and this evening was no different. Jumping up from her bed she ran out of the room, weapon in tow toward the sound ringing in her ears. By the time she reached the following hallway there was blood everywhere, a pack of beserkers tearing apart Everett with wild fury. For a moment she was stunned, her hands shaking as her eyes soaked in what was happening. That's when she lost it, shooting the rabid diseased feeding on her little (by two whole minutes!) sister hemorrhaging blood from open wounds. With precise shots she killed two, another coming at her faster than any Olympian. The infected man knocked her down, his mouth opening to devour her as he'd done Ever. Emie fought him off, grabbing a shard of glass next to her head on the floor and jamming it into his skull. Her hand bled profusely but she didn't stop there. Everything was a blur as she temporarily went mad with rage, foregoing her weapon to kill each and every one of the infected with whatever she could get her bloodied hands on. There was a chance she could get infected, but it didn't matter now - the one person she cared most about in the world was dead.
After ensuring Everett would not turn, a promise they'd made to each other when this hell had began, she collected a few belongings and walked away from the hotel in a daze. They'd been traveling with six others who were taken out as they were sleeping leaving Emerson all alone once more. So she walked, and walked, no particular destination in mind. Along the way she'd meet people holed up in homes or stores while she foraged for food and supplies. Some were kind though most were hostile - in this world it was every man for themselves. As her hand began to heal she became less concerned with diseased or beserkers finding her through that smell and more focused on living till the next day. Most people would have given up at that point after losing everything, but Emerson had never seen Ireland or Africa or St. Barths and fuck if she didn't want to more than anything. There were a thousand places she'd never seen and million more things she'd never done. That feeling of needing and wanting more was the only thing that kept her going for the following two weeks as she made her way into Maryland. Being so close to Washington DC wasn't entirely safe considering the amount of people who'd fled there and the outbreak that had caused more beserkers, but those large quantities of people and military personnel also meant weapons that Emie desperately needed if she wanted to continue west.
Just after dawn she was already out of the small home she'd taken shelter in the night before and on her way. Whoever had lived there once - she refused to look at family photos or any indication people had once existed there - was long gone and had left behind large quantities of bottled water and food. She filled the tub and bathed, cleaning herself up before having some breakfast and packing a few more supplies before leaving. Emerson never took too much - not willing to allow the excess weight to weigh her down - but always made sure to have enough water unless none could be found. Despite being what society would deem a girly girl, she was well versed in survival tactics thanks to an overzealous father who took both his daughters hunting year round. He'd always wanted a son and did not allow having daughters to deter his interests. Now those same interests paid off handsomely, her expertise in shooting and being able to listen carefully while becoming the prey instead of the predator immensely helpful. Throughout the day she saw no other living individuals, but did come across a few downed infected rotting in the sun. Overall the day was uneventful - at least until sunset, anyhow. She'd been so preoccupied collecting food for dinner that she'd ignored the time displayed on her watch. Even setting the damn thing fifteen minutes ahead didn't help when one was so immersed in another activity. When she emerged from the grocery store the first thing she noticed was pink and yellow in the sky, a red flag that cover was absolutely necessary unless she wanted to become beserker bait. They were bad enough during the day, but their fury was magnified at night. It being such a quiet day had only made her more suspicious as well; there were always turned, it was just a matter of finding them at times.
"Fuck!" she cursed, her eyes darting left and then right. How could she had allowed time to escape the way it had? Truth be told, she'd become lost in the aisles of make-up and things now considered luxuries. Perfumey shampoo, vibrant nail polishes, and razors meant to hydrate the gams. There were few things left in the world that provided pleasure and Emerson would now pay for the small indulgence. Thankfully she was in a neighborhood already, though it would take some time finding an adequate space not already occupied or filled with eaters. Lost deep in her own thought she almost didn't hear a bottle drop and break somewhere in the near distance. Put on edge by the sound she fingered her gun, not too concerned with investigating where it had come from. Instead she would try to make her way to the nearest house which sat at least a block from where she stood in that moment. Crouched and ready for action she swiftly made her way from the front door, passing across the length of the building. Another noise snapped her attention to the gap between buildings.
Just to her left was a man at least twice, if not three, times her size surrounded by two beserkers. She knew they were such by the way they surrounded the man, not desperately diving in the way a normal infected would in order to feed; it was almost as though they were toying with him, which was sick. For a moment she considered leaving him there to be eaten. Why wasn't he fighting back? He must have been hurt or maybe even mentally handicapped - something. Humanity got the best of her and Emie raised her gun, shooting off a round that got one of the beserkers straight in the head. This kill caused the other to look toward her and she shot off another round, the first missing but the second shot sending the infected straight to the street in the gap between herself and the man who'd just previously been prey. When he didn't get up she skeptically drew closer, noticing the camouflage pants and immediately assuming he was with some branch of the fallen military. This puzzled her even further. "You hurt?" She asked bluntly, not getting too close in case he'd been bitten and was about to turn. It was the smell of booze and the redness of his eyes that tipped her off he was intoxicated. Her mother had been a useless drunk and Emerson would know that look in someone's eyes from a mile away.
However there was no time for chit chat. She heard a screech echo, which meant the two beserkers were part of a pack and they had about zero seconds to book it out of the area. For some reason she helped the man up off the ground as he mumbled something, helping him away from the scene of the crime as they bound down the street. Staying so close to the kill spot wasn't safe, meaning the neighborhood should have been out, but being out in the open wasn't entirely safe either. He was entirely too heavy and Emerson found herself annoyed at his lack of appreciation for what she'd done, he was blubbering about someone long gone and Emie could only roll her eyes. She'd fucking lost people too, and this wasn't the time to have some pity party. People were still so filled with hope that someone else could save them it made her sick; Emie had made peace with only having herself, so why she was helping someone with no will to live was a mystery. Maybe there was a small amount of compassion left in her bones or maybe it was just human nature, either way the bullet zipping past them broke Emerson out of her thoughts and snapped her attention in every direction as she tried to figure out where it had come from.
Behind them were three infected, bare feet beating against the pavement like hyena on a hunt. She noticed one body was down in the street somewhere just behind the moving figures, struggling to get back up. It was almost like they didn't feel anything, like their bodies had been pumped with so much PCP they were invincible. It was always their screeches that got to her, send a chill down her spine when their mouths opened exposing serrated teeth mutated to tear through flesh. It was death put into a sound, their black eyes soulless and driven to convert more for their army or kill just because - because they were hungry or because it was what they seemed programmed to do. Stumbling over the mess dragging at her side, the useless man's negligence tangling their feet and sending her tumbling to the ground, was the last thing she needed. Emerson was better than this, had learned over these past few months how to survive in sticky situations when her lack of strength was outmatched by wit.
From the left came a few figures, the moon up above not giving a clear enough view of them to make out any distinct features, but she could see their skin wasn't milky in color and they moved with coordination instead of primal need. Unfortunately, humans were just as dangerous as the infected these days. Still she watched as a woman ran forward with elegance, drawing a blade from underneath her coat to cut off the mutated arm of an infected who turned it's sights on her. From there it was like a blur, the figures, and Emerson could only assume they were a pack of hunters like the ones she'd seen back when Everett was still alive, before they'd gone to Frankfort. While some nested in new "towns" others roamed, killing the infected and pillaging for goods that they traded - living free from the societies that were springing up, many times with laws that resembled medieval ones rather than those of the twenty-first century. Pushing away the clumsy oaf that nearly got her killed she remained on the ground, eyes wanting to make sure there weren't any immediate threats headed her way yet unable to take her eyes off of the persons massacring the infected before her. Whoever they were, she owed them one.
Each of Angora's questions were only answered with a shake of her head, her voice seeming to have been chased by their fearsome predicament. When they were finally greeted by the first person she'd seen since they had been abducted her first reaction was to bombard the slimy man with questions - particularly who in the hell he thought he was taking them off the street like that. Nothing had to be said for the quarter Deltan to know he was a bad person: she could sense nothing redeeming about him, just that he was evil and wanted to hurt them. Thankfully her counterpart spoke up first, taking charge of the situation in a way that Romola had guessed she would. Even still, she could sense that Angora was uneasy too.
"My father is on that ship and he will kill you if you touch us," she threatened, not honestly believing any of their captors cared a lick about what the mighty Federation may or may not do to them. Moulika seemed all too pleased by her sudden outburst as he raised from his chair and strolled over to where their new dome-shaped pal was cowering in his cage terrified.
As the slimy, gruesome man pulled up a pin locking the cage door in place and pulled out the Mingu for observation he returned to his seat with Romola's unnamed pet locked tightly in his grip. "Have you ever had Mooshu soup?" he questioned with a grin, his clamp on the animal contracting with each word bringing a pained cry from the helpless creature. "It's a delicacy on Polaris. He's the perfect size, too." Romola's head shook furiously and she shook the chair, trying to attack the sinister man and failing horrible in her endeavor.
"Leave him alone! You're hurting him, he didn't do anything wrong foul, pompous, no good bastard." This was not how skilled Starfleet officers were trained to act during hostage situations where they were prisoner facing any enemy with malicious intentions. However, the counselor was a poor officer and anyone who expected her to sit idly by while something who couldn't fight back became purposely injured was sorely mistaken. She could sense and feel her furry friend's pain in the same way she'd sensed nothing but evil from the moment Moulika stepped in front of their holding cell.
Tossing no name over his shoulder, Romola watched her pet sail through the air like a Frisbee and crash against the flooring with a thud; with her attention focused elsewhere she wasn't prepared for what happened next. Though Moulika knew nothing of Earth culture and couldn't know the context of a bastard - which, consequently, also seemed to be the counselors favorite insult as of late - there was no denying by Romie's voice the word held a negative connotation and that was enough for the bully to act. Thugs such as the Gaorin were all about control and instilling fear into whomever they were faced with, especially their victims. Not expecting his hand to strike her face with such velocity her eyes grew wide with the physical demonstration, her bound hands making it impossible to touch the wound. Tasting blood in her mouth and suspecting her lip had been split tears welled up in her eyes - she couldn't help crying; her father would be disappointed.
Moulika's evil counterparts had brought a bag of toys that were actually torture devices over to the cell, joining their mastermind in laughing at the blonde which was only further humiliating. Feeling - or, rather, sensing - they were out to do more harm she couldn't help growing more upset. Their goal was to rough the women up enough to break them so that they appeared pitiful when contact with the Nova was made, which Moulika's henchmen were working on at that moment, so their superiors would take the men seriously. He was not finished milking them for information, their question and answer session for confidential knowledge only just having begun.