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Zealot Shreya The sun sets on Roswell when you get into town. There are more people here now, all of them wearing the rags and bearing the marks of the cult. You remember where Shreya settled before, now it is the central hub of the city. Unlike most of these cults; Shreya's faithful do not seem to be rotting. Weird. The woman herself is sitting on her porch, drinking something that glows from a fire blackened wine glass.
Fern     "Well, I'll be damned.." comes Fern's voice as she comes to a halt just down the street, pausing once she's close enough to the home and able to see Shreya there sipping something glowing, like a Queen on her throne. "Sweet jesus. She hasn't changed a bit," Fern murmurs to herself, laughing a little as she does. The girl starts walking again, heading closer to Shreya's home. She's got her backpack and guitar slung over her back, and.. she's pretty much the same as she was the last time she saw her friend. Now she's a bit taller, but it's still Fern.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya looks up not recognizing you at first. As you get closer she double takes and leans her head in to see better after an audible sigh of delight for whatever mess she is drinking. "Fern?" She stands up and smiles widely. "Fern is that you? By the eternal, you are a woman...look at you. I had hoped to take you in but you found other help and...I always hoped you would not be swallowed by the wastes. COme come let me see you better!"
Fern     "And I thought you may have exploded into a puddle of glowing goo by now.. and I am delighted to see my wildest fantasies were wrong," Fern says as she smiles wide as ever. Her steps quicken and she soon finds herself on the porch, leaning in to Shreya to give her a warm, tight hug. She squeezes happily, holding her friend for that drawn-out snug. "It's good to see you again. I was thinking of you the other day. Got a few more Atom followers in town recently.. You sending them out that way?" she wonders.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya hugs back warmly. "They come here. This is where we wait until the shrine is found or perhaps I am wrong and the shrine is here, below us somewhere. We are searching for it still. What a beautiful woman you have become. It is a curse in the waste but have heart. I just knew it wouldnt claim you. Irony is that the most dangerous thing in the wastes is not the creatures changed by the glow, but other human beings."
Fern     "Yeah.. All the other fuckers," Fern says with a grin. Yep. Still Fern. She is reluctant to release the hold, but she does soon enough, and she's smiling wide. "It really is so good to see you. I missed you.. What have you been keeping busy with?" She helps herself over to a chair, pulling it up closer to Shreya's so she can sit down close and relax for their conversation.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya is about to offer you some of her drink but then remembers it may hurt you. "I am gathering Atom's Chosen. Some of us...we are not affected by the glow in any degenerative way. Of course all Children of Atom are chosen by him but the others, they are chosen to rejoin him in glorious Division. We...we are meant for something else. Old religions speak of the kharmic wheel breaking. It has broken. And now the world made new. Every faith speaks of it in one form or fashion. We will create the New Jerusalem if we speak in Christian terms, and then....inherit the earth. People fear the glow because they do not understand that therein lies salvation. So I gather the chosen to one place. We will make strong children, strong in body and in faith." She sighs. "I myself cannot bear young but....many others can."
Fern     "Well.. You could kinda think of it as you being everyone's mom? You're a natural leader," Fern says. "They all look up to you.. look to you for direction.. Having a kid might slow you down," she says with a little shrug as she takes her backpack and guitar off, laying them on the porch. "I met someone odd in town. Doc.. He's this scientist and he's a fucking -glowing- one.. but he's got like.. synthetic skin on his body. It's real fucked up and cool. You'll have to meet him."
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya does look interested. "A glowing one...that retains his intelligence. Surely this is a sign. I do want to meet him!" She takes another swallow of her drink. "Would you like some water or juice. I have pineapple juice in cans." She looks out at the setting sun. "YEs everyone's mom but never a child of my own. It is probably why I was trying to be your mom three years ago are no longer a child." She chuckles and shakes her head. "No not anymore."
Fern     "Thank you. I keep telling people that, but they keep seeing me as a kid. I ain't a kid no more. I'm sixteen now. Gonna be seventeen soon! I'm getting old!" Fern says as she laughs more, her grin wide. "I wouldn't have minded having you as a mom. I probably would have just gotten sick out here, though.. But I'm taken good enough care of. Got some nice adoptive family. Ya know." She grins a little.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya nods and sighs. "The Caine's...from brothel to boardroom. A long and interesting tale in that house. Some of them are wonderful and others...not so. I suppose thats true of any one group." She looks at you and then must look away. "Yes well, perhaps they see you as a kid from memory. Me having the misfortune to not watch you grow....I see you as you are."
Fern     Fern grins a little at that. "Well, thanks. I appreciate it." Fern snickers to herself then leans back in her chair, watching you. "How have you been, though? Last I remember, you'd been dating someone and you seemed pretty happy. is she around now?" she asks. "Or did she turn into the pile of goo?" She's so sensitive isn't she!?
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya shakes her head. "No one stays with me. I think it is not my place to have love. I thought that when there were more Children of Atom that you know..." she sighs. "Well they are trying to do their duty for Atom, to bear children who are also bathed in the glow instead of harmed by it. I....I am unable because of the ways I was mistreated before Confessor Cromwell found me. So no....Rose did not stay. I kissed her one day and she was gone the next, never to return or so much as give a farewell. I have not heard of her being dead. I have no idea which in a way is more cruel."
Fern     "Are you that bad of a kisser?" Fern asks, smirking lightly. "Maybe it's the fish lipstick. I'm telling' you.." she teases, trying to joke at the worst time! "But really, I'm sorry to hear that. It sucks. I was happy for ya dating someone.. Maybe one day, though. I'm sure someone would love to be with ya," she says, smiling about it.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya chuckles. "Is that all it takes to stop wearing green lipstick of fish scales. I like the way they catch the light and honestly have you ever looked at whats in regular lipstick? Horse and whale parts. Really which one is better? Mine is just less processed. More natural. If I had a woman that was that offended by it, I suppose we could go raid some store and try to find some other shade." She lifts one eye to look out toward the mountains but whatever she saw that might be an alarm must not be because she relaxes back. "I would like to believe that some wonderful person will walk into my life in time. I must be patient. There are so many liars you know?"
Fern     "I'm sure, yeah," Fern says while nodding. "Lots of weirdos out there, too.. I'll find someone for ya, alright? Don't worry. Maybe I'll go knocking on doors in the neighborhood and find someone for a date or two.. What's your type?" she then asks, looking curious.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya looks over at you. "Someone honest, someone brave, someone not afraid to show how she feels about me to me...and to others. Someone who embraces the danger of the wastes and thrives in it. Someone with heart. Someone who can accept that my faith is strong and not think that it must be destroyed in order for us to be together."
Fern     Fern watches you as she listens to the list of qualities that must be represented in someone who would be able to gain your affection, and when the list concludes she gives a slight grin. "Gee.. Anything else?" Her grin widens. "That's a pretty fair list, though. All good qualities to look for. Shouldn't be too hard to find," she murmurs. She chuckles a bit, then looks off the porch and out to the neighborhood. "I'm glad you're not one of the only ones out here anymore."
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya nods. "It is nice to have fellowship with other faithful. I was mostly talking to myself before. What about you? You cannot be looking for me if you are still alone. Do you have a nice boy...or girl. Tell me about your person. You have to have one right? I mean your adorable of course you do."
Fern     Fern wrinkles her nose at the mention of having a boy, and then she's snorting lightly. The girl leans back in her seat again, and she kicks up a boot to rest her ankle over her opposite knee. "You know me. I ain't never liked boys like that. Still don't. Even if Ashur insists I find a guy to settle down with and start making' babies.. That ain't me, though. Ain't gonna marry no boy. Ain't gonna have no kids either." She makes a sour face, then starts to grin again.

    With a little shrug, Fern says, "I've dated a few girls, but nothing ever serious. You know. When you're thirteen, holding hands is enough. Fourteen, maybe a kiss or something, but," she shrugs again. "Nothing serious so far. I ain't exactly lookin' for nobody. It'll happen when and if it's gonna."
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya smiles. "Well as much as I appreciate your desire to help me, I dont want to date random strangers. You could ask people if they have what Im looking for and they would lie if they just wanted sex and say yes yes I am all those things. More likely they would get to the part where you tell them I am one of the Children of Atom and then they would laugh or make some excuse on why they have to go. I have to know her. Really its not a possible task Fern unless your volunteering." She laughs again.
Fern     A brow arches at that and Fern asks for clarification, "Not a possible task unless i'm the one searching for the person? Or not possible unless I am that person?" She narrows her eyes slightly and leans forward in her seat, staring you down. "Are you hitting on me, Shreya?"
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya shakes her head. "No Im just stating facts. Look at you. You are wanting to go and find me a date because we talked about me being sad. Your not looking for caps, you dont have anyone in mind. You just dont want me to be sad. So youve just proven things about yourself that are sweet. Things anyone including me would want. Im not hitting on you Fern, Im smart enough to know your not looking for a date with the children of atom, but if you were, you would have all the qualities I mentioned wouldnt you? Hitting on someone implies that the one flirting thinks there is a chance they could say yes. Im just trying to amuse you."
Fern     Fern lets all of that digest for a second before she leans back and nods. "Fair enough.. I'm amused," she says, starting to grin. "There ain't nothin' wrong with you, though. You're a little crazy from the radiation, but you're a nice person. You're pretty eccentric. It's cool," she murmurs with a little laugh that turns into a smile. "I'll find someone for ya, though. If I don't keep her for myself," she teases. "Your list was pretty spot-on. Except for the religious thing."
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya chuckles. "Man that was easy. You bought that? I was totally hitting on you. Your young yet. And whoever these girls you find are, they are gonna like you for the same reason I do. Cause there you are out trying to get me some charity. Its sweet. Let me know who your new girlfriend is. There is no way your gonna find someone who is interested in me."
Fern     With an exaggerated roll of her eyes Fern says, "We'll find someone. You don't give yourself enough credit. You're pretty cool and nice and all that stuff. Nothin' wrong with ya," she repeats with a smile. Her eyes roam a little now and she looks to the glass you'd been sipping from. "What's that? Antifreeze?"
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya looks at the glowing water. "No its tequila. The worm was touched by the glow." She holds up the glass so you can see where the light is coming from. Indeed there is brilliant green light coming from it. "You see?" She sets it down so you can look closer. "Have some if you like." She looks back to the setting sun. "Its really okay Fern. I have to wait for another of the faithful to come, maybe one who cannot bear children. Those who do not understand Atom or will not understand, they think Im a lunatic. They wont want more than sex out of some odd curiousity. I wonder what it would be like with a cultist? I dont want to be a curiousity. I want to be loved. Doesnt everyone want that?"
Fern     "I doubt fucking a cultist would be any different than fucking anyone else, and I mean that in a nice way. If they'd wanna mess around, they'd do it 'cause you're pretty. No other reason. At least not any reason about you being' an Atom follower," Fern says, adding, "But what's so bad about a random bed-hopper? Your days of screwing' around are over?" She grins. "And before I forget, you gotta tell me about why you started following Atom. What happened to make you so faithful."
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya runs a hand along one of your shoulders briefly. "Aww your nice...You want to know about me before Zealot Shreya? My name was Christina. Christina Veracruz. My parents were trappers and they finally caught something they couldnt kill. It killed them instead and...I got away because I guess....there was plenty of meat. It didnt want me also. I lived like you for awhile and I guess thats why I worried so much about you, why I offered to take you in. I was not taken in, I was just raiders. The Warlords they called themselves. They taught me to hate men."
Fern     "I'm sure not every man is like those asshats, but.. yeah. I can understand that. Sorry you had such an awful beginning.. but look at you now." Fern smiles a bit at that. "I'm glad you survived it all. You're one of the most interesting people I know," she says. She looks to the drink again, giving a little shake of her head, and then she's watching the neighborhood again. "So, you think Atom chose you to spare or something?"
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya says, "I know he did. That is where true faith springs from, the knowing. And you are right, not all men are so vile but because they passed me around for sport and for money, I cant even look at a man unclothed now and not hate him. Its a problem but its better than dying. The warlords found an old military bunker. They kept me in a brahmin drawn cage. I used to fight them and escaped a few times but they had all the water, I never got far. Anyway they awakenes some old technology in the bunker while I was outside trying to position myself to draw shade from a Joshua Tree. It was so hot. Then the ground shook and the glory of Atom belched up from below, flinging pieces of the raiders or tattered wholes from the maw of the manmade cave. Finn was thrown against the bars and the keys caught on a nail as he fell. I almost didnt get them and if I hadnt, Id have baked to death, but I lived. I took all the water and caps I could and the brahmin and eventually I found Megaton. A man named Cromwell took me in, and he explained the miracle.""
Zealot Shreya One of the cultists brings you out a wooden cup filled with pineapple juice. "Glory to Atom young miss," he says as he offers the cup.
Fern     "Wow. That's one hell of a story.. Guess I'm pretty lucky to have been able to wander and not get hurt or taken by people," Fern says. She glances to the guy then, reaching up to take the cup. "Thanks," she says to him before lifting the cup to sniff at it. "It ain't poisoned or anything, is it?" she teases before taking a sip.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya shakes her head. "Unless you think whoever this Dole was was poisoning juice for some kind of profit. And Atom shows me continually that I am chosen. The glow, it only bathes me. I am not hurt by it in any dose for I am chosen. And fire itself now bows to my will because of his blessing. Fire springs from thin air but we know that nothing comes from thin air, it comes from Our Lord. I am blessed."
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya sips her irradiated cocktail. "How could I not believe, Fern. It is evident."
Fern     "I suppose.. I'm not the best person to ask about religious things. I have a hard time believing in what I can't see, and shit. i have a hard time believing half the stuff I -can- see!" Fern notes with a little shrug. She lifts the bowl then, sipping more from it and looking pleased as if she enjoys the taste. "Thanks for the juice," she mentions.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya nods slowly. "No one would expect you to believe in what you cannot see. I can show you if you desire his power channelled through my faith. It is real. But you should think about it. Once you see, you will no longer be able to deny."
Fern     Fern starts to grin slowly, and as she stares at you she listens to the silence following your words. Eventually she says, "You can't say shit like that to me. You know what a curious fucker I am.." She grins wider and then snickers. "You can't show me something and me not believe? You really think so?"
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya nods. "I know it. A charlatan would pick an object and soak it in gasoline before hand, have a cultist waiting in the wings with a match. But that isnt going to happen today. You will show me what you wish to burn and you will call upon Atom for a sign. You will believe."
Fern     "..." Fern -has- to see this. She finishes her juice and puts the bowl down quickly. She leans over and grabs her backpack, opening it to then yank out an old book. She gives it a toss to the side, letting it land on the ground nearby. "Alright, Atom. Show me what ya got."
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya stands as the hot wind of the wasteland whips open the book and turns the pages a bit. She stretches a hand out toward the book. Though they are blind they shall see! Show now your daughter Fern your hand in the world. Use my hands!" Her hand muscles tense and then she splays her fingers out toward the book. Flames leap up from the pages as the cultists fall down and prostrate themselves with cries of 'He moves among us,' and 'Glory to Atom!' The fire grows and grows and the book is slowly consumed, leaving nothing but a patch of scorched earth behind. "Behold, the book has been divided," Shreya says in a sepulchral voice. "That none may deny his glory."
Fern     Fern is left sitting there in amazement. Her eyes are wide and she's staring, unmoving until that book has ben burnt away. Eventually she wets her lips and says, "Well fuckin A. Glad I didn't throw one of my good books out there. Holy shit.." Fern looks at you and she says, "You'd be a scary ex-girlfriend."
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya looks ecstatic as the power flows through her. An almost sexual bliiss as the last of the book is consumed and she drops her hands. She exhales an audible breath and sits back down as the cultists praise her and their strange God. She look over at you. "I dont want to be an ex girlfriend either."
Fern     "I guess you'd have a few cool uses. I mean, you'd never worry about being cold.. and you could cook easily where ever you went.." Fern murmurs, amused as can be. She soon asks, "What else can you do? I wanna see!"
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya smiles and runs a hand over your cheek. "It is not a magic show my dear Fern. It was for you. The fire comes from the power of faith and for reason, to protect us, to keep us warm, to burn the unworthy, to show you the truth. I can do many things. But today, it is enough."
Fern     "Dammit, Shreya!" Fern says, laughing after you mention burning the unworthy. "Okay.. but you better show me just what all many things you can do.. That's pretty cool," she notes, grinning like an idiot. She leans back in her seat once more and she wonders, "When did you learn to do that?"
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya smiles. "Still a skeptic after all this? I didnt learn to do it Fern. A year ago I could not do it...and then I could. Is it so hard to understand. As I am changed his power flows through me. My blessing is control of fire. Many ways I may call upon it. The other things I do you would not be amazed. They are things anyone with enough zeal can do. Do you still doubt?"
Fern     "I don't doubt.. I just wonder how you're doing things. It's cool. I'm not going to start praising Atom, but.. I'll admit that was kinda sweet." Fern grins more at that, looking to you again. "You'll show me something else tomorrow?"
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya nods. "I shall try." She smiles. "You came to see me you thought for curiousity. Perhaps some affection. But your steps belong to the Lord of the Glow. You came to see his hand in our world. Think about it. You will know. You said everything was good about me except my faith but everything good about me is because of my faith. Now you know. Come back tomorrow if you like, stay here if you like. I have missed you."
Fern     Grinning, Fern says, "I'll stay. It's been too long since I've seen ya. Plus, I gotta see if I can convince you to set fire to more stuff. We can go cook dinner." Fern hops up from the chair then and grabs her bag and guitar, and she nods to the home, helping herself inside.