|Zealot Shreya|| This home must have once belonged to one of the elite of Roswell, an actor or a professional athlete perhaps. The outside is made of a coral colored stucco and there is a large balcony off the upstairs bedroom. A soft glow can be seen at night from the glass door overlooking this balcony. Someone must be inside. The yard has fallen to disrepair as a lack of water and care has turned it into a choked lot of weeds and dead grass. Part of the garage door has been broken away by looters using the fragile plastic as an easy way in. The door probably doesnt have electricity running to it anymore anyway.
Moving to the back of the house requires one to jump over the concrete wall. What was once a pool and beautiful garden is now a post apocalyptic waste. The pool is mostly empty but for a brackish puddle of water in the bottom of the deep end. Also in this miasma are the decapitated corpses of glowing ones. Where the heads ended up is a mystery. The water glows at night as it has been infused with the blood of these creatures and not long ago. If you like your skin, you might not want to go down for a closer look.
|Zealot Shreya||There is some noise as of sawing inside but beyond that the only noises come from the hot wind washing over the town and the sounds of the glowing ones still trapped in the yards and houses around this one. Their snarling does little to make one feel safe.|
|Fern|| Huge home? Crazy yard? Balcony and coral stucco? Seems to fit the description of Shreya's home. Fern slows her walking and takes a moment to look over the house, then around it. Despite being loud in town, the girl knows how to stay hushed when outside the city's walls. She stands there with her hands back holding the straps of her backpack, and her eyes scan the scene calmly. Once she decides on a route to take she begins walking, and she heads around back.
Fern manages to find a way up and onto that wall, and though it has her grunting and struggling a bit she hops over, landing with a soft thud on the other side. Her eyes are instantly drawn to the glowing bodies, which makes her whisper, "Whoa.." She stares at them for a bit before noticing the heads are gone, and that's when she looks away and starts her search for Shreya.
Dusting off as she moves, Fern heads towards the house. The temptation to poke the bodies with a stick is sure there, but she has a job to do, and that's to learn about Atom! Soon enough there's a faint knock on the door and Fern says through the crack, "Shreeyyyaaaaa... ShhrrrEEEEEEEYYYYYaaaaa.."
|Zealot Shreya||The sawing noise stops. "I'm coming," the voice of the zealot echoes from behind the wood. Soon the door opens and there is the woman herself, dressed in her ceremonial rags. In one hand she holds a bone saw. Both hands are covered in a dark liquid that might be blood but its green so that cant be right. You certainly smell the iron scent of death on the wind. A few marks are on the zealots face, not intentionally but perhaps she wiped her brow without thinking. "Come in," she invites you with a smile and an unwholesome gleam in her eyes. "The Cathedral is almost prepared!"|
|Fern|| Fern may be small, but she ain't stupid. Glowing ones in the back yard? Missing heads? Sawing and.. bonesaw? Blood? The girl looks at it all, narrowing her eyes slightly as she stares. She looks over the saw, the blood and then Shreya's face, and as she wrinkles her nose she says, "You gotta start being careful. You get enough of that shit on you, you're gonna grow another arm, and it ain't gonna be because of Atom. You got their glowing stuff on you," she notes, pointing to Shreya's face.
With that pointed out she steps inside, looking around. "Impressive.. You live here alone, or are more Atom people here?" she wonders, wandering around the first room. She's looking for those hacked-off heads, yeah.
|Zealot Shreya||The location of the heads becomes more clear as Fern enters the estate. The body of the last glowing one is laying in the midst of the dining room and there is a lot of the brackish green blood spilt upon the floor from the previous dozen or so beheadings. The head of this last corpse is half way sawwed off. "Come let me show you." She leads you under the archway to the living room. The heads of the glowing ones have been tied by hooks to the ceiling. A circle of rope supports the bottom while three other ropes connect each 'lamp' to the ceiling. Two of the heads have simply been impaled on the broken end pieces of the stair rails, their glowing skulls seem to stare malevolently at you but of course it is only a trick of the light.|
|Fern|| Fern steps after Shreya, following her into the living room. When she is able to see where all the heads ended up she says, "Damn. You're crazy." She's grinning, though, just a bit. "It's.. pretty cool, but it's gonna make you really sick, you know?"
The girl reaches back with her right hand, unzipping a side pocket and pulling out a gas mask that she then straps down over her face. Not like it will help with radiation, though. Once it's tight and in place she looks to Shreya again. "How long have you been working on your.. lamps?" she checks, glancing around again. "Don't you think they'll start rotting? It's gonna smell like shit in here soon," she notes, breathing in and out slowly after that.
|Zealot Shreya||Zealot Shreya laughs as you put on the gas mask. She gently tugs it as she protests. "There is nothing to worry about child, one must learn to embrace the glow!" She doesnt force the issue though and will let you put on the mask. "Radiation is in everything you eat and drink, it is in every wall and every floor and every stretch of ground. This is the new reality. Were you ever religious, a follower of the nailed God perhaps?"|
|Fern|| "Who?" Fern asks in that muffled way after shaking her head from the tug the mask got. She readjusts it, then looks to Shreya. "I heard people talking about 'God' and all. I doubt that really exists. People are stupid," she says, shaking her head.
Fern now begins to explore the house, and she starts to climb the stairs that have fallen, seeing how high up she can go before they start to shift beneath her slight weight. "You don't believe in him, do you?" she checks.
|Zealot Shreya||Zealot Shreya shakes her head. "Not in the way others do. Man has been trying to understand the divine ever since we crawled naked and dumb on the face of the ground. Some have said behold Jehovah is God, others Shiva, others a Great Spirit, and on and on. In every religious prophecy we are told of some sort of apocalypse and an eternal life to follow. But we were all wrong, possessing only kernels of truth. The actual God was he who lives in the glow. His coming was heard by the entire world. And as the bombs that we had created fell the world was destroyed and made new, the breaking of the wheel as described in hindu mythology. And then eternal life for those who had earned his favor while the rest of us are condemned to wander. Can we not see that some have been made immortal. The ghouls are the chosen. They are immortal and our weak bodies do not compare. Those ghouls who refuse to submit to the will of atom are condemned in their minds. This world is their hell in which they are the monster, condemned to feast upon mankind until they are mercifully put down, but they could recover if they would believe and serve Him. The ghoul is an ideal state, free of the worries of disease and pain and reborn in the chrysalis of atom, made a new creature where human vanity is not important."|
|Fern|| Fern turns around on those dangerous steps so she may look down at Shreya. She starts to speak, but damn. That mask is hot! The girl tugs the mask up so it rests atop her head, and with that done she asks, "So, you.. wanna turn into a ghoul some day? That it? You wanna rot away and start glowing and.. run around the wastes being stuck in someone's backyard?" She arches a brow.
Fern begins to wander back down the steps, hopping from the last few, cause that's -cool-. "You know, I found some comics once.. There are these things they called zombies.. Pretty much the same thing. You die and then are taken over by something that makes you eat people and go nuts. That's what the glowing ones seem like. Zombies. That glow. You really wanna be something like that? You'd be so outta your mind you wouldn't even -know- you were one."
|Zealot Shreya||Zealot Shreya raises a finger. "You forget that some ghouls do not run feral around the waste. That they simply live forever. These are Atom's chosen. ANd yes, I would like to be one of them, but it my not be my fate before the glory of division, perhaps I am only meant to minister to them so that they can understand the blessings they have been given. For this reason I am here, in Roswell. Have you not met the ghouls whose minds are intact. Some of them are so old they remember the bombs."|
|Fern|| "Yeah.. I've seen some here and there while traveling with my ma and pa, but I never really knew any. Just.. saw 'em," Fern says with a light shrug as she walks over towards a lamp to check out the head. She pokes it with a finger and wipes the gunk off on her pantsleg.
Turning, Fern watches Shreya. "How do you become one of those anyway? Just.. drink the glowing stuff or something or.. try to do like.. a blood transfusion with them or some wacky shit like that?" she wonders.
|Zealot Shreya||Zealot Shreya smiles. "You are one already, you simply do not know it. All of us are Atom's children. The Children of Atom as you know them are those who accept it. Being an Atomite is not based on what you do, but what you believe. We do not fear the glow, we embrace it. But there is no initiation rite that is the same across the world, it depends on the group and the supplicant."|
|Fern|| Fern eyes Shreya again, hmming softly. "So.. just outta curiosity.. What exactly is your plan to turn into one? This? Hanging heads around and stuff?" she wonders. "I'm being serious, too. Not tryin' to sound like a dick. I like the way you piut them up and all. It gives that whole.. 'Don't fuck with me' vibe." Fern grins after that.
The kid wanders a bit more, and soon she wonders something else. "What are you tryin to run from? What made you wanna become something that doesn't eat or sleep or any of that stuff..? Or.. do they eat or sleep?" She hrms. Such things to ponder!
|Zealot Shreya||Zealot Shreya says, "They eat...but I dont think they have too. And they sleep. I've seen them.. The forsaken that you call feral ghouls, they dont sleep and of course...they do eat..." She looks around the cathedral before returning to the last corpse and going to work with the saw. She speaks as she works. "People fear that which they do not understand. IN these final nights in a world without law, killing people like me seems like a righteous act. It is because we do not want to understand the terrifying truth. That we are all only a composition of worlds within worlds within worlds. We are all immortal in spirit. I do not know yet how one becomes one of the chosen, that is what I am seeking to find out. And certainly I want to ensure that I do not become one of the forsaken as these are." The sound of steel rippig through bone and gristle fills the room. "But look, they provide illumination from the glow, there is no need for a source of power, it comes from within.""|
|Fern||"-That- is what's kinda cool about all this. That's pretty smart thinking," Fern says about the glowing heads being used for lighting. The girl looks around a bit more, and when she looks over to see that you're continuing the hacking she can't help but watch for a minute. She eventually looks up to Shreya again and she says, "I guess all this explains why you choose to live in such an area. It's cool and all, but kinda dangerous." She takes a seat then and shifts her backpack to her side. "You don't want nobody to live with you? You like being alone?"|
|Zealot Shreya||Zealot Shreya sighs as she removes the last head and places it in the rope harness she had created. "Other children will come. I was sent to prepare the way. I do not prefer to live alone. Human beings are social animals. The endless solitude tends to drive one mad."|
|Fern||"Thought so.. That's why you were flirtin' with Willow, yeah? Maybe you wanted her to come live out here with you?" Fern wonders as she unzips her bag and takes out a little snack, taking a bite of some kind of jerky before offering some out to you. "It's okay.. You're not the first to flirt with her. I've seen people around her. I guess she's pretty, but," she shrugs a little. "Maybe Atom will send lots of people here to live with you. Hell, if I see anyone I think would be cool with glowing heads -I'll- send 'em."|
|Zealot Shreya||Zealot Shreya laughs. "I am well enough child and while I admit there was some attraction to the woman Willow Caine, I am not so interested in a woman who shares herself with everyone. In any case, I think her interest in me was feigned so it was never going to result in anything. By the time I realized her interest was a sham, I had already lost my own. She is not my destiny."|
|Fern||Grinning ear to ear, Fern says, "Nah. You'll get someone really cool, though. Someone who will appreciate your crazy," she says. "Not that your crazy is a bad thing. It's just not for everyone," Fern states, snickering about it. She takes another bite of the jerky, chewing it around some before she wonders, "You like guys, too, or just the ladies?" Ahh, the endless curiosity of kids!|
|Zealot Shreya||Zealot Shreya chuckles as she hangs the garish lamp. "My desire for men was burned out of me during my time as a captive of Finn's Warlords. Suffice it to say it was a living hell. That was a life before Zealot Shreya. And Fern....I am not crazy. It is normal for you to think so however. Have not all prophets through time been considered mad?"|
|Fern||"So you did like guys at one point? Being a captive made you not like them?" Fern remembers all of this. "Okay. Well, maybe if I meet another cool.. prophet like you I'll tell her she should come hang out. That'd be nice, yeah?" she says with a little grin. "Sucks that you have to be out here so far, though."|
|Zealot Shreya||Zealot Shreya chuckles. "I am not alone child. There is an entire city of immortals here. A cluster of Atom's chosen. It is for them that my dreams sent me here. It is kind of you to think of my solitude but....there may be someone in the works already. We are going to see."|
|Fern||Oh, now she's curious! Putting her jerky down, Fern says, "Ohhhhhhhh? Yeah? Who is that? Do I know them? it ain't Gale, is it? 'Cause i don't think she'd wanna live all the way out here," she rambles. "Is it Tina? That nun? She's kinda religious," she says, trying to guess. "Can you give me a clue?" she asks, snickering about it.|
|Zealot Shreya||Zealot Shreya laughs also. "Your so curious. No it isn't Gayle ad it isnt the sister of the nailed God. We could never get along for obvious reasons. And Im not even sure if there is anything yet only that....she of whom I speak has seemed receptive to me and knows of my attraction for her and all she said was...this is a good start. That doesnt seem like someone who is saying no. I dont know if I should tell you. It might scare her away if everyone knew already."|
|Fern||Thinking it over, Fern says, "Well, alright. Sounds ok enough." She shrugs and leaves it at that. The girl looks around again, eyeing the body of the ghoul. "What are you gonna do with all the bodies? You're not gonna leave them back there in your pool, are you?" she asks, making a face about it.|
|Zealot Shreya||Zealot Shreya tilts her head to think upon it. "Their blood carries a strong source of his glow. I will leave them out until the water is sufficiently irradiated. It will reek, but it will be worth the momentary discomfort."|
|Fern||Fern makes another sour face at that. "Yuck." She pinches her nose for show, then works on finishing her jerky. Another look around the room before she asks, "You staying here the rest of the day? Or do you wanna walk with me and head back to town later? I got stuff to do. You know, rounds to make and all while people are out to Mexico."|
|Zealot Shreya||Zealot Shreya raises a brow. "I could join you. What do your rounds include exactly? More pilfering?"|
|Fern||"I gotta help keep the town safe.. Keep an eye out for raiders and all that sorta stuff," Fern says. It reminds her, "I got a cool assault rifle the other day! At the caravan store they had this box that was closed up, and I got it and BAM, assault rifle inside. How sweet is that?" she asks.|
|Zealot Shreya||Zealot Shreya shakes her head. "So they were just selling mystery boxes and it just as easily could have been a box of mold encrusted Cram?"|
|Fern||"...I guess," Fern says. It could have been! "But it wasn't! I had a good feelin' about that box. It was a good one to pick!" She grins. The girl nods then, wondering, "You ready to head back any time soon?"|
|Zealot Shreya||Zealot Shreya hangs the last grisly decoration. "Surely, I will accompany you back town if only to ensure you are not taken. Children are...a high commodity to the sick of mind." She grimaces. "Let me get my rifle."|
|Fern||Hopping up from her spot on the steps, Fern slings her backpack on and waits for Shreya. She'll soon head out with her to return home.|
|Zealot Shreya||Zealot Shreya slings her rifle and leads you out the back way. The front is still boarded up. This time she opens the back gate instead of you having to climb over it.|