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Zealot Shreya The rest of the afternoon is spent cleaning and butchering a scorpion bit enough to be a horse. The water they use you suspect might not be the best but hopefully the fire will cook it out. Shreya finds her positive spirit again in the shared joy over the sheer volume of meat. She teaches you how to use cactus, vinegar, oil, and some other spices to make the marinade. They wont cook the entire animal but enough feed twenty or so cultists very well tonight. Once the butcher cuts off the usable pieces for the evening, Shreya does the rest with you close by. Finally it is prepared and the two of you take a short nap while the meat marinates. Shreya wakes you and the two of you return to start the barbecue as the sun dies in the western sky.
Fern     It was a little hard to get Fern out of bed, but she eventually slides out to go help with the cooking. She watches how you prepare the meat, taking notes. "I sure hope it tastes as good as it smells.. Who woulda thought. From such a stinky thing to this. Looks good," she comments as she looks from the meat and off to the sky, sun setting behind old homes and the wastes. As she glances back to Shreya she says, "Next time, though.. Four horses. Or at least a wagon or something to pull it back with." Fern grins in a teasing way.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya laughs. "I know right? We shall have to tell the horses to hurry up and make babies so that can happen. I mean I know I told you to put your back into it when we were lifting just half of that guy onto the back of your mare and recall I said it wasnt that heavy. I lied I thought we were going to be crushed. Praise be to Atom we got it up there. Poor caballitos." She grins. "They should be the ones feasting but I dont think they would eat it, just sniff it and maybe blow some horse spit on it for us to clean off. It does smell good though and the others are making mashed potatoes because we got some cream to butter. Tatos are good, they grow well in the wastes. You ready to grill this son of a gun?"
Fern     Fern stares at Shreya when she reveals she thought they might be crushed. Her eyes widen and she starts to laugh suddenly, shaking her head and sending her messy hair swaying against her shoulders. "Gee, thanks! Next time.. I'd prefer the truth! I'm glad we didn't die. That'd be embarrassing.. Oh, what killed them? A Rad Scorpion? Oh.. What? It fell on them? After it was dead? How ironic." She smirks, kicking the toe of her shoe at Shreya in a playful way. She walks closer to her and stands near the grill, nodding.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya giggles. "Half a radscorpion actually not even a whole one." She points to the charcoal. "So you see how its turned almost white thats what we want." She picks up the tongs and moves the coal around to spread it out. So you put the grill on top there." She waits for you to do it before moving to get the plastic containers the meat is marinating in. "We just wait a couple minutes for it to heat up and then you can start putting the meat out. I think five of six minutes on a side will be good. Im not even sure what color scorpion meat turns when its done but we will figure it out." She opens up the first container and you feel your stomach rumbling. "Oh you know what else is in here, cilantro. Cilantro is magick. Its the difference between mexican food and white mexican food."
Fern     "Not that I ever knew there was a difference. Always considered it.. food," Fern says with a little grin. "You're Mexican? Or you just like Mexican food?" she wonders as she watches how to get the grill ready. She puts the topper on and then waits for a moment, letting it heat up, and then she looks over the food again. "Mmm.. This'll be the best thing I've had all week," she guesses. Once it's time to put the meat on she sniffs the air, breathing in the scents that sizzle burns off.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya nods as she uses tongs to start laying out the meat. There is a gratifying hiss as the steel bars touch the steaks. "Yeah Im Mexican. Me and my parents we came up from there. The Narcos were fighting eachother and we would have died if we stayed well...we tried anyway. It worked for many years. Make sure you get the meat over the coals not too far hanging off."
Fern     Fern nods to this information about the meat. She watches how you get the meat over the coals, and her eyes then look curiously to you. "Your parents came up, too?" she wonders, studying you for a moment. "They're.. not around anymore, or did they decide to go back?" she asks, trying not to pry too much, but clearly wanting to know.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya smiles but there is a sadness there. "They were killed. My parents were hunters and trappers. Long line of hunters my family. Even before the coming of atom to the world of flesh my great great grandfather they say was paid to take rich assholes hunting who couldnt tell their ass from a hole in the ground. My parents were trapping back east and they caught a deathclaw instead of a bear. My father...he didnt want to lose the trap. I guess he thought he could make it happen and." She sighs heavily. "My mom tried to save him and me...I was eight and mom told me to run. I ran." She closes her eyes. "I miss them. It was stupid how they died but they were for eachother and for me. I was loved. I am thankful for the time I was allowed."
Fern     Fern lifts her left arm and loosely wraps it around Shreya's side, pulling her a little closer then for a soft hug. "Hey.. It's alright.. Sorry to hear that happened to them. Sucks that it left you alone." She squeezes Shreya again, then slowly releases the little hug so she can take the tongs and try turning the meat over and getting it into the right spot on the grill. "Didn't have any cousins or anything? Was that it for your family?" she wonders.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya hugs you back taking the comfort. "Yeah so I see a lot of myself in you. You were left on your own pretty early. I have family down in Juarez but...they are all devout Catholics. I am not Cristina anymore. I dont think they would recognize me and if they did they probably wouldnt want to see me anyway."
Fern     "It'd be stupid of them to not want to see you. Family's supposed to have your back and always be welcoming.. But I know not all families are like that. I wish they were. Sometimes it's friends who have your back no matter what, hm?" she asks with a smile, hand resting on Shreya's back for a second to give it a warm pat.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya nods. "Family is a human construct. I have a family here now and I do have a good friend. I might go back one day but, who knows its been like 20 years since Ive seen any of them." She shows you how to work the grill and its a little more difficult to grill scorpion since they have no red blood. Finally it is done and the cultists gather round the picnic tables in the backyard to feast. It would almost be a Norman Rockwell Painting except for the garish facial tattoos and dead glowing ones in the pool nearby. Shreya stands and holds your hand to address the faithful. "Today we were blessed by Atom with this bounty. We have been chosen to remain though this Radscorpions fervently tried to destroy us. Fern would tell you she is not one of us, she would be wrong. How many of you came from a world where everyone told you to believe in the God of Abraham or nothing at all. But that is the old conceptualization of God and not the truth now revealed. We greet Fern as our sister. And we eat now because of her bravery. Glory to Atom."
Fern     Fern looks a little sheepish as she is included in the toast, and once everyone has started to pass the meat and potatoes about, the slowly lowers to her seat at the table. "You did most of the work," she murmurs to Shreya with a smirk. "I just ran.. and tried not to barf." She starts to laugh thinking about it.

    As the food makes its way around she takes her serving, then waits for you before she'll cut into it for a bite that leaves her making satisfied sounds. She chews it up and swallows, then murmurs, "So.. we're gonna go get another next week, right?"
Zealot Shreya The cultists cheer and warm smiles are thrown your way along with some other exclamations. "Blessed are we for Fern," "Atom smile upon our brave Fern," and other congratulations and well wishes. Is this how it starts? But you dont have time to think about it too hard as the steak and potatoes are passing around along with Sangria in wooden cups. "You want to go back again?" She laughs. "Well we do know where it is but next time I think we need to bring more horses and a wagon would be fantastic. You were braver than most people just going with me, especially the second time."
Fern     "If we ate like this more often I'd go twice a week!" Fern says. Maybe not really, but she sure enjoys the way the meat was cooked. She eats fast at first, but slows over time, and by the end of her serving she's picking at the potatoes. "Ugh.. Too much.." almost. She leans back and closes her eyes for a minute, then downs some water as she looks around at those at the table. "Do they all have special gifts like you?" she asks Shreya.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya shakes her head. "Some do, most do not although, being unharmed by the glow in a world soaked it could be seens as some kind of power. I think though that for many of them it was the unseen hand of our God. Certainly many Children of Atom have died of radiation but inevitably children are born to us who are immune. That was just by chance, now I am bringing all those children to one place, Roswell. For me it was not genetic and I still dont understand it fully. Some say I was blessed."
Fern     "Blessed.. I would believe that," she says with a slight nod. She glances to Shreya then, fascinated by something. "The children are born immune? That's crazy.. Lucky fuckers," she says with a hearty laugh as she leans back, grinning ear to ear. She watches the others at the table, taking in the sights and eavesdropping on conversations.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya smiles. "Well you're on your way then. And yes not all children are born immune but some are, everyone you see at this table almost is immune and their children will be as well. We are the future. The other Children of Atom look forward to glorious division as do we but we also seek to establish his kingdom on this world.
Fern     Fern smiles a little as she looks around at everyone. Maybe they aren't that crazy after all. She crosses her arms over her chest as she relaxes, and she looks over to Shreya, watching her. "What are our plans tomorrow?" she wonders with a lopsided grin.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya pours you another glass of Sangria and herself as well. "Sleep in and be lazy, They Children will hold a pairing later tonight no doubt. Craiis is going to see if he can do anything with the poison sack and then if he cant we will probably go into nearby settlements and see if we can get money or poison out of it or both. There is a swimming hole called the mouse tank I want to show you but thats probably a few days away."
Fern     "I'm sure someone could make poison darts with it or something," Fern says. "Or put it into elixirs to give to someone you hate.." she murmurs, trying to think of ways to use the gland. She arches a brow at 'pairing' and asks, "A pairing? Like.. Matching people to be wed or something else?" Yeah, that gets a look.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya shakes her head. "Yes and No. We are all eager to have children and this is a commune. We will all raise all the children so, who is the father and mother is less important than that children are born immune to the harmful effects of the glow. Certainly some people have their favorites but all women want to bear a blessed child. Me included. Id do it if I was able to have them but Im not so.... Dont worry you wont be part of it."
Fern     "So.. you're telling me that after the feat, everyone will pair off and bone." Fern looks straight ahead, letting that sink in. "Huh." She thinks on it for longer, then grins. "Is that what the sangria is for? Get 'em all loosened up and ready to party?" She starts to laugh now.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya smiles. "All creatures and all things have a purpose. The Sangria is to celebrate our kill and the good eating we will have for awhile. It also makes us," she snerks. "It makes people less afraid to touch so like I said, probably a pairing. Its not like I scheduled it."
Fern     "Who did?" Fern asks in an amused way, brows waggling at Shreya as she starts to snicker. The girl grabs her drink and sips at it, then looks at the cup and back. "It's pretty good, too. You sure it's not laced with anything?" she checks, eyeing the cup as if she'd see something.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya looks at your cup criticallly. "Laced with like juice and orange juice and maybe a grape in the bottom or a cherry. Someone would tell me if we were going on a vision journey and no one has so....sorry no." She sits back relaxing as she digests. "There's no need to drug you Fern. If you see something you like feel free to join the ritual later. Then you can see of anyone lets out a Praise be to Atom or whatever it is you were hoping we do." She chuckles. "Ill be doing something exciting in my room, like sleeping."
Fern     Fern starts to laugh louder now. The image in her mind is just too much. "Oh gawd.. Please tell me no one rips a 'praise be to atom!' when they cum." She bursts into laughter again. Yes, this amuses her to no end. "Do they call to Atom instead of God?" More laughter. No, don't mind the teen hanging out in the bushes listening to phrases screamed during sexy times, nope! One can just see the idea on her face as it comes to her mind. Her eyes cut to Shreds again and she grins, saying, "Sleeping.. Why? Let's go on a vision journey."
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya shakes her head. "I wouldnt be surprised to hear some praises to Atom considering the purpose of the pairings. Your not going to be welcome if your just there to laugh." She is struggling not to laugh herself as the idea of an outsider listening does up the weird factor. "We need to get some mescal. We cant go on a journey tonight but you can get drunk with me."
Fern     "Okay. That sounds good enough," Fern says with a little grin. She then bends over to the side and tugs open a small pocket on her pants. She pulls a tin out and reveals rolled joints, taking one out and holding it up to light with her pre-war lighter. She takes a drag from it and holds it in, offering the joint over to Shreya while she closes her case and puts it back into her pants pocket.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya takes the joint and inhales deeply. Her eyes bulge out a little and she coughs but she is fine. "She laughs not seeming to know what Marijuana is. "'Got a little light headed there.
Fern     "Just wait. it'll have you tingling all over." Fern laughs at that. She takes more and holds it again, then releases the smoke in small puff rings sent upwards. Fern shares the joint until it's gone, and once it is she finishes her sangria, then leans back. "Should have done that before eating.. it woulda made the meal even better!"
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya tries to make the rings but she is really terrible at it. Trying sure is entertainment though since every attempt sends her further into bliss. She laughs so hard it makes her sides hurt and soon the two of you are left alone while the rest of the children are in the backyard or various parts of the house. There is a lull in your conversation with Shreya in which the two of you accidentally eavesdrop on someone above.

"Atom bless this union, let my rod drive deep into her belly and create one of your blessed chosen. Atom hear our prayer. Come Merlinda will you say a few words." At this point you could interrupt and tell them to shut the window but Shreya is stoned and would rather listen with that impish grin.

"By the glow just fuck me already," Merlinda says with irritation! The bed starts creaking shortly after and thats when Shreya died laughing.
Fern     Fern looks like she is about to die when she hears the man speaking, and the woman's response leaves her howling with laughter. It's a wonder how she stays upright on her seat. Fern laughs even more, and she rests her elbows on the table, cradling her face in her hands while she tries to stop.. but she can't. Being high and trying to stop laughing? Easier said than done! "Holy shit.." she pants between bouts of laughter.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya is crying she is laughing so hard. Someone grumbles and closes the window. "By the glow, Just fuck me already,," Shreya mimics quietly after the window closes. She then launches into fresh peals of laughter. She stands shakiy. "Come on lets head up before we piss everyone off." She is still struggling not to crack up.
Fern     Fern is laughing just the same, unable to stop. This continues as she rises from the seat, nearly falls over it, and then follows behind Shreya. "Hope.. they hit.. the jackpot.. if they do, we get to name the baby," she says while laughing.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya laughs. "We will name the child Smokey." She leads you up to her room and opens the doors of the balcony so the cool air can wash in over you. "The air feels great I think it might rain later." She goes out to lean on the rail, looking back at you with a smile as you follow. There is some tension in the air between you as she watches your approach. The look on her face makes her desires pretty clear. "I love the rain," she adds as her dark eyes drink in the figure of you getting closer.
Fern     By the time the two are upstairs in the home Fern has finally stopped laughing. Her head is still fuzzy and her body tingling with the high, however she no longer finds everything funny. She walks closer to the balcony and stops nearby, her eyes on Shreya. She takes a step put onto the balcony and leans back against the wall, one foot propped back against it as she crosses her arms over her chest, just staring at the other. She doesn't say anything yet.. or she's having a conversation in her head. Hard to tell.
Zealot Shreya The moment of silence continues for a bit before Shreya rises up off the rail and moves with weaving hips toward Fern. She places a hand on the wall beside Fern's head and leans in closer while moistening her lips. "You can say no whenever you want but I dont think you want too. For me nothing ever made more sense....

The Zealot leans in to plant a soft kiss on your mouth, arms encircling you under the light of a thousand stars and the sounds of the revelers below. Her tongue glides into the dance as her body presses Fern against the wall.

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