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Title: WHAT THE WATER GAVE ME
Description: TAG: Aaron/Liine & Jordan/Kay


EVANGELINE BRENNAN - February 2, 2012 06:57 PM (GMT)
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<div style="text-align: justify; font-family: courier new; font-size: 7px; text-transform: uppercase;"> I’m not your drinking problem; a hole is in the sky. It’s not your heart that you’ve you been thinking of, just the feeling like you’re going to die. All I have to do is shake, shake; keep your body still, keep your body still. Our move is shake, shake, shake; keep your body still, keep your body still.</div>

<div style="border: 1px dotted #525252; font-family: arial, arial narrow; font-size: 10px; padding: 5px; overflow: auto; height: 446px; text-align: justify;"><p class="intro"> She was angry. <b>"God dammit!"</b> Evie yelled, picking up a vial of a fairly clear liquid and tossing it in the trash. Soon to follow were more vials, and she felt slightly better as she heard each one break. Still, her anger did not subside as she had truly hoped. You see, Evie had been trying all morning to get a proper sampling of the water that was around the harbor. She had sent out some mercenaries with a simple task, during their run into town, to bring her back a few. Somewhere along the way, however, these samples were contaminated. There had been a horde, and some blood of someone or something had gotten into them. The samples were useless. All of the mercenaries had come back in one piece, but she had not been told what had happened to her samples. Of course, leave it to them to not notice someone or something bleeding into her samples. There was no telling now. She would not bother to test them since she could clearly see that the water was tinted red with blood.<p>

That had settled it. She had been cooped up in the encampment doing some rather ridiculous work with equally ridiculous people. Not only did she need to get out, she also wanted to get out. Other than the other day, when she had taken a rather nice stroll with Aaron, she had yet to be out of the encampment. That nice stroll had turned into a rather embarrassing moment for Evie. Needless to say, she had avoided Aaron since then. If she saw him walking her way she would quickly make her exit. You could not talk to someone if you deliberately avoided them, right? Sure, Evie was not sure if he was even trying to seek her out, and to ask her about that day; the encampment was small, they were hardly able to stay out of each other's eyesight for long. However, Evie was almost sure she had seen him look her way every now and then. Did he want to talk to her? Well, he seemed to have not wanted to so bad that he forced her into a conversation so Evie had to remind herself that it was likely not as big of a deal as she had made it out to be.<p>

The only problem? It was a big deal to her. What she had done, embarrassment set aside, had made things awkward between them. They did not speak, but that did not mean Evie did not want to speak to him. At the same time the idea of speaking to him, of things going back to the way they were before the incident, was out of the question. Sooner or later it would come up. Sooner or later he would ask why, right? Why had she kissed him? Well, she was not sure, but now every time she saw him she felt something stir in her. Her brain told her not to do this, not to feel for another person; her fiancé was out there, after all. At the same time she could not help but wonder why her fiancé had not come for her. Their last phone call, the last time she heard his voice, he had told her that he would go to her best friend's house, their mutual friend and the one who had set Evie up with him. He was going to see if she was all right. She never heard back from him. Why would he not come for her? She had been detained for several hours. Where had he been when she had needed him the most?<p>

Aaron had protected her. Evie felt safe around him, or at least as safe as one could be in this world. Her fiancé had been the logical choice when he had popped the question to her. She had weighed the pros and cons. He had been a good man to her. Aaron, on the other hand, was still a mystery to her. She had not chosen to have feelings for him like she had James. All the same, she was unsure that Aaron held any sort of feeling for her like she did him. It was logical to think that he had just enjoyed the moment for what it was; two seemingly lonely people just looking for some sort of reassurance that they were still alive. It had been just a moment to him, right? All the same, Evie had to push these feelings aside. She had to harden herself and make herself believe that she could deal with whatever came her way. That was what led to her walking up to where he stood, though she did not have her mind set on him. Instead, she had her mind set on the person in front of her; the person who handled the assignment of guns. <b>"I would like to sign a gun out, please."</b> She said and before the man could ask her why she turned to Aaron, a look of what she hoped was indifference on her face. <b>"I am going to need a few mercenaries, but I need to keep it small. I need to gather some samples. Mine were contaminated by <i>your</i> men. I would like to request Demitri Okar be assigned as my personal guard and overseer of this operation, if you don't mind."</b> Despite trying to keep her business tone, once she had mentioned Aaron's men had contaminated her samples her blood began to boil once more. Of course, her heart also began to beat a little more rapidly the longer she stared at Aaron. She had to remind herself that this phase would pass with time.
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aaron riggles - February 4, 2012 06:19 PM (GMT)
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It had been a confusing week. A lot of weeks had taken a turn towards confusing since the dead started ambling around, but this one had been particularly taxing. First, Beckenbauer had broken down moments before he entered the tent to check up on her work, which had resulted in a bit of a fire-storm. Then, he had been approached by Brennan, one of the researchers he had had to hold back during ‘Code Black’ in Canada, who had demanded a gun and training in it. During his attempt to talk her away from her initial goal and into the welcoming arms of Whitesand’s loyalty, a zombie had chanced upon them outside of camp, a zombie that met its end at Aaron’s blade. And that is when Evangeline had sauntered up and kissed him on the mouth, as kisses were wont to be planted, and then initiated a return to civilization. What the fuck was up with the women here?
<p>
Since then, he had seen her a couple of times. There had been no active avoiding from his side. What was the point? She had told him she overreacted because it had been her wedding day, and that had of course made it ridiculously awkward for him. But if Aaron was anything, it was adamant on making living at A9 bearable. There was no reason why being stuck this close to one another and having to do stressful work with people you may or may not like, should be made any more taxing. A lot were already showing clear signs they needed room, or family, and since Aaron could not give them either of those, he attempted to at least show them a friendly face. Though this was the friendly face she had kissed, he could still poke it out on occasion.
<p>
Some had already asked him what the hell had happened between the two, since she had returned to camp far ahead of him and with some tell-tale signs of crying. With him stalking behind, it must have looked exactly like it felt: Awkward.
<p>
So when he finally sat down after having delivered the latest surveillance intel to Donovan, Aaron felt like having about twenty beer and just falling asleep in his bunk. Since beer was scarce and frowned upon, he settled for a bottle of water and a rub of the eyes. Michael chose that time to walk up to him, asking him to have a look at the inventory list, which meant he had to get up once more and strain his eyes to make out the finer print. And that is how they stood when Ms. Spontaneous Emotions waltzed up with demands. “Evie,” Aaron greeted, unable to hide the wariness from his voice. This day was going to get a lot longer, was it not? Michael exhibited every sign he felt uncomfortable standing there and being subjected to her requests, so Aaron nodded a dismissal before turning towards the brunette with an air of interest.
<p>
I do mind,” he said lightly, dragging a hand over his face. “Okar is busy with another assignment at the moment.” Also, he doubted his men had contaminated her samples. They might have gathered them to the best of their abilities, but such things did not always go very well in the midst of action. But he did not feel like correcting her. He was not in the mood for retorts. “Actually, most of the men are.” Unlike him. Who was done for the day, to the extent he could be. He still had rounds. Checking up on people. His regular routine. “What do you have in mind, Evie? Where are you going? How many samples do you need?
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EVANGELINE BRENNAN - February 4, 2012 07:31 PM (GMT)
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<td style="height: 550px; width: 10px; background-color: darkslategray;">&nbsp;</td><td style="width: 360px; height: 550px; padding: 10px; background-color: #FAFAFA;" valign="top"> <div style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 50px; color: darkslategray; text-align: right; margin-bottom: -10px;">evie brennan</div>
<div style="text-align: justify; font-family: courier new; font-size: 7px; text-transform: uppercase;"> I’m not your drinking problem; a hole is in the sky. It’s not your heart that you’ve you been thinking of, just the feeling like you’re going to die. All I have to do is shake, shake; keep your body still, keep your body still. Our move is shake, shake, shake; keep your body still, keep your body still.</div>

<div style="border: 1px dotted #525252; font-family: arial, arial narrow; font-size: 10px; padding: 5px; overflow: auto; height: 446px; text-align: justify;"><p class="intro"> He was exhausted, that much was obvious. Aaron did not look at all pleased to see her, and hear her requests that sounded more like demands than anything else. A pang of guilt for the way she spoke to him rose in her chest, but she tried to push the urge to apologize and run away down. Hearing that Demi was out along with the rest of the crew made Evie run her hands through her hair as she sighed heavily. So this was not going as she had hoped. Instead of a simple request and seeing that it be done promptly before sending her on her way, Evie was stuck in an awkward conversation with Aaron. They both did not want to be there in that instant, that much was true. Evie did not want to be near him in fear that she acted on her feelings toward him again, and Aaron looked as though he just did not want to be around anyone in general. She shifted her weight to the other foot, and her hands went to her hip. <b>"I'm sorry if I sound like a bitch right now, but my entire work has gone down the drain along with my day, so..."</b> She shrugged, but never once met his eyes as she spoke to him. She focused on his shoulder, or glanced around the encampment; anywhere but his blue eyes.<p>

When he asked what she needed, Evie turned to look at him once more. <b>"Water samples from the marina and beyond it. I was hoping to catch a boat because I had heard rumors that there are people there, living people. If I can get one of them to let me catch a ride I can collect a few different samples and see if the water is contaminated or not."</b> The research itself seemed simple enough, but it was vital all the same. <b>"If the water is contaminated then we've got a lot of big problems on our hands."</b> She added, hoping that her research sounded as important as it was. Of course, she knew that her research would be delayed now. He would likely put her on a list and call her when it was time for her to head out. That could be hours, or even days from now. <b>"When will the men be back? I'd offer to just go alone, but..."</b> She trailed off and shrugged. She knew the answer to that one. No one struck out alone. There was always a sort of buddy system around here. Besides, she was sure he would think that this would give her plenty of reason just to not come back, and it was always a possibility. Evie was not sure what she would do at any given moment anymore, and it was baffling to say the least.<p>

Evie had already gathered up her things that she would need and had it in her backpack on her shoulders. Her white lab coat was still on, and the hot sun was beating down on her making her feel rather hot and suffocated. She wanted to pull the damn thing off. She hated it with a passion. <b>“I can’t do anything until I get those samples. So do you mind if I left my backpack by the trucks somewhere so when it comes time I can just get up and go?”</b> She asked him. Naturally, there were a few more trucks than there were mercenaries, and Evie could plainly see one from her point of view. There were, after all, several more scientists so traveling to and from places meant that they were all spread thin over several trucks, the rest having carried the equipment they needed here. While Evie thought of stealing a damn truck herself she knew she would never get past the gate. She had no pull with the guards like a few others. No one feared her in this camp so getting her way was out of the question. She knew she was defeated already. Evie was really looking forward to getting out of the camp and hanging out at the marina, even if it was for work. This just was not her day.
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aaron riggles - February 5, 2012 02:20 PM (GMT)
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He would, of course, give her the time of day. He might not look it at the moment and he might not sound like it, but he had always been set on allowing people to have their voices heard. It did not matter if he had an off day, he could not let that affect how he was performing his job. Aaron was not the type to let his moods pour over others. If he was pissed off, he either warned early or set his emotions aside for however long his interaction would take. Anger could always be picked up later, it rarely went anywhere if you neglected it for long enough. It was the setting aside part that seemed too difficult for most people. Confront Aaron fifteen years ago and you would meet a different person. One not prone to anger but still very susceptible. Lately, it had been a muted feeling. Grayson Appleby and Caroline had been subjected to a mild case. That was also this week. This fucking week.
<p>
But he managed a wan smile as Evangeline apologized for coming off as a bitch. “Your words, not mine.” A weak attempt at humour. It was not entirely certain he could keep that pretence up for long. If she stepped on his toes now he might just have to be the one to call her a bitch. Or mumble it when she was out of ear-shot. “I’m sorry they ruined your work. It wasn’t on purpose, I’d wager.” It could have been. Some of those guys did not take kindly to scurrying around and having to gather scientific samples for researchers that would only yell at them for getting the tiniest detail wrong. A9 was a place where people did not see eye-to-eye. Speaking of that, Evangeline appeared unable to give him a look anywhere but his shoulder. “Have I got some dirt there?” he asked lightly, lifting his eyebrows quizzically. Safe to say she found it roughly hundred times more awkward than he did.
<p>
At her suggestion to go off on her own, his inquiring look turned to one of disapproval. At least she said the idiocy behind that herself. “Hardly an option. You’ve only ever seen one ‘live’ undead before. Try multiple at the same time, whilst busy collecting samples, and you’ve got a bit of a mess.” Though it was a topic he had hoped to avoid, it was one bound to be raised at some point anyway. Still, he continued on without too much pause. “You need an escort if you’re going as far as the marina. And like you said, there might be others there. Though most people tend to forget in these times, humans behave irrationally in irrational situations. Even with zombies descending upon you, the biggest problem is meeting another survivor.” The earlier headache that had threatened him lured at the edges of his mind, definitely not quelling with the next suggestion he was going to make. “I’m free. My official duties for the day are finished. I could go with you?
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EVANGELINE BRENNAN - February 5, 2012 03:18 PM (GMT)
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<center><div style="margin-top: 500px; width: 125px; height: 45px; border: 1px solid #525252; background-color: #FAFAFA; opacity: 0.9; font-family: courier new; font-size: 8px; text-align: center; overflow: auto;">TAGGED Rigs/Liinen & Jordan/Kay<br> WORDS 1,358.<br> NOTES Post order from here on: Liinen, me, Kay.</div></center></td>

<td style="height: 550px; width: 10px; background-color: darkslategray;">&nbsp;</td><td style="width: 360px; height: 550px; padding: 10px; background-color: #FAFAFA;" valign="top"> <div style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 50px; color: darkslategray; text-align: right; margin-bottom: -10px;">evie brennan</div>
<div style="text-align: justify; font-family: courier new; font-size: 7px; text-transform: uppercase;"> I’m not your drinking problem; a hole is in the sky. It’s not your heart that you’ve you been thinking of, just the feeling like you’re going to die. All I have to do is shake, shake; keep your body still, keep your body still. Our move is shake, shake, shake; keep your body still, keep your body still.</div>

<div style="border: 1px dotted #525252; font-family: arial, arial narrow; font-size: 10px; padding: 5px; overflow: auto; height: 446px; text-align: justify;"><p class="intro"> There were a lot of things Evie did not bother to answer. She was a little thankful that he had not been about to call her out on being a bitch despite feeling like one, and she had given him an awkward sort of smile for apologizing about his men botching up her work. Of course, Aaron noticed Evie staring at his shoulder but she had been lost in thought at that moment. <b> “Hm? Oh…no…you’re fine.”</b> She mumbled before Aaron went into a lecture on infected and what she had seen. Evie tried not to look as irritated as she felt; she knew the answer to that anyway, was that not enough? Why bother giving her a lecture in the first place. Regardless of her irritation, Evie managed to bite her tongue and let him continue. Her eyes got wide momentarily, in shock and confusion, when he offered to be her escort. Another few hours alone, just her and Aaron together? This was neither not what she expected him to say, nor was she sure it was a good idea. Still, she had no choice if she wanted to get things done. <b>“Yes, I…suppose that’s fine, but we need to go ASAP if I’m going to get these things back to the lab before sunset.”</b> She told him. Truthfully, she also just wanted to hurry up and get out of the encampment. She would just have to avoid long conversations with Aaron, and keep a good distance away from him. Evie did not wait for Aaron to give the orders for departure. She proactively walked to the nearest truck and swung the doors to it open. Evie knew that Aaron was not behind her, but she pulled herself up into the passenger side and waited patiently. A few minutes later, he opened the driver side and pulled himself up into it. <b>“Paperwork.”</b> She mumbled, but she shot him a small smile as she said it. Seconds later, the engine roared to life and they were heading out.<p>

Evie took a look behind her and watched the encampment dissolve into the background. Once it was out of sight, she turned back around and with a sigh began unbuttoning her lab coat. <b>"Don't say a damn thing."</b> She grumbled as she unbuckled her seatbelt and slide the insufferable thing off. It was too hot out for her to wear one so she had come prepared. She wore a simple, short-sleeve denim shirt dress with a pair of white shorts on underneath, and she pulled off her boots and fished in her bag for a pair of sandals. A dress code was not enforced except for on the outside of the encampment, where a lab coat was greatly enforced. It was more so for protection from bites even though they were not built to withstand it. Evie may have been risking it, but she refused to wear such a thing on a bright and sunny day. Evie quickly buckled back up, and looked out the window of the truck. They soon passed the suburbs, and Evie let out a sigh as she looked at the little identical houses that looked fairly untouched. <b>"Odd how now those little uniform houses look like they would be a perfect home."</b> She said, mostly to herself. <b>"I always dreaded the idea of living in one, myself. You know, starting a family and having one as a starter home. Now I can think of nothing better."</b> She added before turning away and looking forward. She had just seen an infected roaming the streets. It had surprised her a bit.<p>

The ride went silent for a few more minutes, and the thought of it continuing to be silent made Evie tap her foot impatiently. She wanted to be at the marina now. She wanted to find a boat and get on the water, and get away if not for a moment from the devastation she had seen. Finally, the need for conversation won out. She knew that “the talk” was imminent. <b>"I know you've read my file before, but there are a lot of things you <i>don't</i> know about me."</b> She said firmly, but she did not turn to look at him. She did not give him a chance to speak, though. <b>"I like to think about the pros and cons of everything, I don't do spontaneous -- at least, I didn't, I don't like when people call them zombies, I wanted two kids but now I'm not so sure, I'm allergic to shellfish – scratch that, it’s likely in my file too, even though I come off as a strong-willed person I like for the man to take charge on most things, my birthday is next month and I’ll be thirty, and my only birthday wish is to have a hot bath, or an actual bed to sleep on – or both, even--"</b> Evie cut herself off and shook her head. <b>"I ramble a lot when I get on a roll,"</b> She added with a short laugh that held an edge of bitterness. Then she finally turned to look at Aaron, a mixture of confusion and something else on her face. <b>"And, for some reason, I seem to have found myself attracted to you -- so much so that when I'm around you I'm not sure what I'll say or do. So you can see how that can affect <i>everything</i> about me because I'm the type who weighs the pros and cons of any relationship and I'd thought I'd found the most compatible person to start my life with. Now I'm not so sure what’s going on. You've completely screwed it up. I had a plan and now I'm not sure what to do."</b> She heaved a sigh. Evie never had a problem talking, but every word she said weighed heavy on her.<p>

<b>"I really don't care if you feel the same. Truthfully, I know it's highly improbable that you do and I really don't think I want to know that answer right now. But you can see where this puts a huge strain on what tiny, fragile bit of friendship we might have had. And I don't want you to think that you did something wrong, either. You didn’t do a damn thing."</b> Evie paused, taking a look out of the window to stare at the scenery. It was marred by corpses, blood stains, and a few walking, infected humans. They were going too fast for the infected to truly take time to register the sound and come near the truck. Evie was thankful for that. Finally, she looked over at Aaron once more. <b>“It’s not like someone forced us together on a blind date. If things had been different I highly doubt I’d know you other than your name and rank. We’d cross paths, but it would be casual. I’d be married by now and we would think nothing of…<i>this</i> – whatever <i>this</i> is. I don’t believe in fate or soul mates or anything whimsical like that. I believe in compatibility, and I largely doubt we are anywhere <i>near</i> close to being compatible. Somehow, with everything having changed, I’m just left wondering if it’s sheer loneliness or something else I haven’t quite put my finger on.”</b> All of these things were thoughts she had mulled over for the last five days. Even though she was speaking them out loud, and to the person that her thoughts were directed toward, Evie felt a sense of relief flood over her. She had said them out loud and that had been that. She finally admitted to him that there was a problem and she was not sure of the solution to it. Even now, as the marina came into view and her interest peaked at the idea of being there within the next few minutes, Evie still could not help but wonder: <i>would</i> her marriage have survived now that she knew it was not as rock solid as she had thought it would be? <i>Could</i> it have been possible that, later on down the road, Evie could have found herself having feelings for Aaron had things been different?
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aaron riggles - February 5, 2012 05:50 PM (GMT)
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The moment the suggestion left his mouth, he regretted it. The moment his tongue had started forming the first words, Aaron was inwardly screaming at his own idiocy. He could spend the next couple of hours making idle conversation with whoever popped by the tent, maybe seek out Dwayne for a round of poker and in general taking a well-deserved breather. Then later, have a stroll around as per usual to check up and make sure they all knew he was still there, overseeing that everything was running smoothly. He could put on his glasses and pick up a good book – one of the few he had there, at any rate – to surrender to literacy. Though he rarely minded running around for an entire day, some days were for relaxing. This one was taking a turn towards action-filled, with him offering to aid Evangeline. “If you would rather wait, that’s also an option.” An option he would both be thankful for her choosing, and worried. Should he go with her, it could potentially lighten the awkwardness.
<p>
Or make it way, way worse.
<p>
I’ll fetch my gear. You can get in that truck.” He took a few steps and pointed to the one he meant, before walking back to where he had put his stuff earlier. Placing his hands on the bag, he leaned in and let his head fall down, closing his eyes and taking a deep breath. This was something he needed to be in tip-top shape for. He could not go out there and be half asleep. Something told him the added strangeness of having her close would disable him from nodding off at the wheel. Now, routines. Checking his clothes for holes; taking apart his gun and putting it together again before holstering it; making sure he had ammo, an axe, some bottles of water, all the essentials. Whatever pertained to the science-part of this project was her job. Before joining her, where she sat dutifully in the passenger seat, he motioned for Michael to return. Exchanging a few curt phrases and brief information on where they were going, what they were doing and bringing with them, Aaron filled out various forms. It was such a routine now, he barely had to look to know where to write. With all that done, the man hoisted the strap onto his shoulder and ambled over to the car, throwing the bag in the backseat before climbing in. “Yeah, and a lot of it too. But we’re good.
<p>
With a wave, they exited the gate. The weather was extremely warm, which made him thankful he had not put on his jacket for the occasion. Apparently, Evangeline had no intention of wearing her coat. Casting a glance her way, his eyes soon jumped back to the road. Emotionlessly, he said, “You know that’ll protect you.” She knew. She was not an idiot. He could understand it was warm, but she better be prepared he would force her to put it back on should it be necessary later. For now, they were in a vehicle going a decent speed. Nothing would attempt to munch at them in their current position. As she started talking about the houses, he felt at ease by the wheel with her jabbing at his side. Talking about houses. Even though it was not the nicest approach, it still seemed... normal.
<p>
Then her topic shifted and he soon found himself absolutely horrified. He was happy she did not take pauses to allow him a word in. He did not know what words to put in there. It was a long, winding monologue more challenging to him than Shakespeare could ever be. The parts about the various things he did not know about her from her file were true. Still he had never claimed to know her to the core just because he had had to read up on her prior to slamming his hand on the desk for the debrief after her escape-attempt. But that was not the part of her talk that got to him. The part of the talk that got to him, was the part about what had happened after he killed the zombie, what had happened the last time they were out of camp together. She flat-out told him she was attracted to him. Aaron was used to these things going unspoken for a while and fizzling out on their own, or getting acted upon, which essentially sealed it. He had always appreciated honesty, but perhaps he was selective about exactly what he wanted people to be honest about.
<p>
This? This was really unnecessary at the moment.
<p>
Her approached to it all seemed highly analytical. Weighing pros and cons, attacking it from every angle… Oh, she was a scientist alright. If there had ever been any doubt. This was a lot to take in. Aaron was glad he could focus on driving and was not required to keep eye-contact or react with facial expressions. He would have probably looked like he had just seen that girl from The Ring climbing out of his TV. Now his brows furrowed, but he was unyielding and adamant on keeping his eyes on the road. The knuckles clutching the steering-wheel had turned a whiter shade, admittedly. Why could he not have told her to wait for Demitri to get back from whatever mission he was on? Too late now though. Ah, the brilliance of retrospective ideas.
<p>
When she finished, he could hear crickets in his head. Was it his turn to say something now? After that rant? “I…” he started, opening his mouth and closing it. Like a fish. He was a fish on land. “I don’t know what to say, Evie.” And they were nearing their destination too. He had never been that relieved so see a harbour in his entire life. Then again, if they did not get to finish up this conversation, they were basically looking at awkwardness for life. “I barely know you. Like you already pointed out. Back in Canada I had to go through your life as a safety measure. That doesn’t mean I know you as a person, I’m aware of that. And the kiss…” He stopped, unsure where to go now. With his talking, that is. He was about to shut the engine off, already parked. “The kiss was spontaneous, as far as I could see, and it came as a surprise to me. Maybe even to you? I don’t think it meant anything. I don’t know what else to say. You’re engaged. And you believe your man is out there still. And… that’s it, really.
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EVANGELINE BRENNAN - February 5, 2012 08:09 PM (GMT)
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<td style="height: 550px; width: 10px; background-color: darkslategray;">&nbsp;</td><td style="width: 360px; height: 550px; padding: 10px; background-color: #FAFAFA;" valign="top"> <div style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 50px; color: darkslategray; text-align: right; margin-bottom: -10px;">evie brennan</div>
<div style="text-align: justify; font-family: courier new; font-size: 7px; text-transform: uppercase;"> I’m not your drinking problem; a hole is in the sky. It’s not your heart that you’ve you been thinking of, just the feeling like you’re going to die. All I have to do is shake, shake; keep your body still, keep your body still. Our move is shake, shake, shake; keep your body still, keep your body still.</div>

<div style="border: 1px dotted #525252; font-family: arial, arial narrow; font-size: 10px; padding: 5px; overflow: auto; height: 446px; text-align: justify;"><p class="intro"> Evie knew before she even spoke that things would not go over well. She had prepared herself for the awkward talk, the confused feelings, and even the slight hurt she felt even now hearing Aaron respond to her complete and blatant confessions. Still, she did not once interrupt him or interject her own words. She had spoken her mind, and that had been that. She was honestly amazed that he had even said more other than "I don't know what to say". At the very least, he had not flat out rejected her feelings and told her that he wanted nothing to do with her. Aaron was right, though. They barely knew one another and this kiss had been more of a surprise to the both of them. Still, Evie couldn't help but wonder why, then, that this kiss cause her to go into a tailspin. She had spent so much time analyzing her own life after that kiss. Evie was smart enough to know when a kiss was just a kiss, and she could let go of mistakes she often made, but this was different. She really wasn't sure if she could truly let go of this yet.<p>

At the mention of her engagement, Evie stared out the window once more to avoid letting Aaron see the cringe on her face. Yes, she was engaged. As he spoke about it she absentmindedly clutched at the ring that dangled from her necklace. Evie had only worn it on her finger the day her fiancé had asked her to marry him. From that point on it had been dangling from a chain on her neck. Once he had inquired about it, and Evie had simply said that she wanted to protect the ring from getting harmed while she worked. Even now the idea of putting the ring on her finger felt odd, but she would not admit to it. There was something she would admit, though. <b>"I know, but Aaron..."</b> She paused, turning to look at him. There were no tears streaming down her face, but you could see the sadness in her eyes. <b>"I fear the worst has happened. I...can feel it."</b> She said softly before turning to look at the approaching marina. She did not want him to respond to that. Evie knew that if he had been alive she would have heard from him somehow, or he would have tracked her down. That was what she expected from her fiancé, or anyone who claimed to love her, no matter how much she doubted the relationship herself. He would have come to her by now.<p>

<b>"I need a drink..."</b> She mumbled with a sigh, but a soft smile graced her lips. Even though it was awkward between them, Evie knew she had to put that aside for now. Besides, they were about to get to work. Evie stuffed her lab coat in her backpack, but shoved her heavy boots under the seat. She wanted to make sure Aaron was comfortable enough to let her out of the truck. This would have to be a compromise. Aaron parked the truck as close to the marina's dock as he could, and Evie scanned the area for infected. <b>"We're clear this way."</b> She told him as she unbuckled her seatbelt and craned her head to look as far behind the truck as possible. Nothing. When she turned toward the marina she spotted a boat, as well as a person on it. Evie's eyes got wide with excitement, and without realizing it she reached over and grasped Aaron's arm to get his attention before pointing out the window. She was grinning at him. <b>"Let's see if we can get a little sunbathing today, shall we?"</b> She asked, and her excitement took over. She opened the truck door, and walked toward the dock. Just by the way she saw the figure move she could immediately determine it was not an infected human. The waves that rocked the boat would have thrown it's stumbling body overboard by now, she was sure of it.<p>

Evie had completely forgotten Aaron's warning about other humans. She was pretty sure she heard him caution her, but she her mind had been set already. <b>"Excuse me? Excuse me!"</b> She called out to the person, a woman from what she could see, as she approached the boat. <b>"Can I speak to you a moment?"</b> She added, a smile on her face. Act friendly. She could do that. And she held up both of her hands to indicate that she was unarmed. Of course, she was not sure about her companion.

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JORDAN JAMES - February 6, 2012 04:41 PM (GMT)
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<center>Delta sun beats down like a hammer. Mmmm....it gives the low down blues. I've got a cotton gin. I'll weave and spin. And shake the dust from my shoes. I made my money. I found me a honey. To tickle me under my chin. When mornin' comes. I'll ride into town. And worry 'bout the shape I'm in.<br>
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" GODDAMIT!"

Jordan screamed in frustration and kicked over her empty cooler, the once partially filled object now skittering across the deck. Her last bottle of water was gone. In the back of her mind she knew that she shouldn't have accepted payment in the form of a bottle of whiskey for a boat repair. But hey, it was all the dude had to offer and JJ thought what the hell. She ended up piss drunk, a quarter of the bottle left untouched when she passed out. It was her own fault. Now, not only was she battling a hangover from hell, but now she had no libation left. I swear I am NEVER drinking again!What a wonderful way to start the morning. Sighing in defeat JJ headed to the cabin, hoping she'd be able to find some left over water or food or...anything to help her lose her hangover. Hell, she was even tempted to lean over the edge of her tiny yacht and dunk her head in the freezing water. She decided against it though because it would more than likely make her pounding headache even worse. Just her luck she had absolutely nothing. Closing her eyes and taking a deep breath to calm herself, she marched back out on deck and looked around and the surrounding water.
<p>
After a few moments Jordan spotted the marina. Sighing in relief, she headed towards the switch that brought up the anchor. Switching it on as she walked by, JJ entered the 'bridge' and grabbed the helm and turned it in the direction of her destination. She was lucky, or smart even, to have left a stash of supplies hidden inland, in case of emergencies. Yet it was a royal pain the ass to have to go all the way there to get it. She counted her lucky starts that she wasn't too far from the marina. She'd be there in and around half an hour, sooner if she really pushed it. Her only hope was to not come across anyone. She wasn't exactly in the mood for company. Who the hell would be if they had a hangover that would make a frat boys seem like a tiny little headache? Exactly. No one.
<p>
The thirty or so minutes passed rather quickly and Jordan soon found herself pulling up along side the dock. Before coming completely against it, she hung her fenders over the edge to protect the sides of her boat. Throwing a rope onto the wooden catwalk and jumping out after it, she grabbed the rope before it fell into the water and hitched it to a post. Once forgetting to tie the rope to the dock was enough for her to learn. There was no way in hell she wanted to dive in after her vessel. Once the boat was secure, JJ headed off in the direction of a small supply shack. The reason she chose the place was because it was obvious. It had also no doubt been ransacked a few times but each and every time the overlooked the small hidden cubby located under one of the shelves.
<p>
She rummaged around for a minute, moving boxes and discarded tins before her hidey hole came into view. A smile spread across her face. No one had discovered it yet. Soon, though, she would have to find a new place. Her luck would only hold out for so long. She stuck her fingers under the piece of loose wood and pried it out, revealing her tiny and slowly depleting stash. Most of the contents had been given to her as payment for mending various boats and such. She had nearly twelve bottles of water, a few canned goods and another bottle of alcohol, Rum this time. Not wanting to have to come ashore again for at least a week, Jordan grabbed everything out of the hole and tossed it into one of the empty boxes littering the ground. She was about to put the piece of wood back in its place when she heard the distant sound of an approaching vehicle. Dammit! This just isn't my freakin' day!"
<p>
Forgetting the piece of wood, Jordan grabbed her box of possessions and left the shack, heading back to her boat. She was practically running towards her vessel. She didn't want anyone to see what she had. She didn't want to share. She had earned every single item in that small box by the sweat of her brow. Literally. Clambering on board, she shoved the box under a seat as she heard the vehicle pull to a stop. It was still a little bit away yet she was still able to hear it. The sound of a door shutting made JJ straighten up and look towards the intruders. After a moment or two, she visibly relaxed. It didn't look like they were the dangerous sort, but JJ still let her hand graze against the back of her jeans waistline, feeling the cool metal of her handgun tucked securely there. Better safe than sorry right? She removed her hand from her piece when she heard a females voice ring out.
<p> "Excuse me? Excuse me!" Turning in the direction of the voice, JJ used her hand to shield out the sun as it nearly blinded her. "Can I speak to you a moment?" Jordan contemplated a moment, her hand almost twitching at her side, wanting to hold her defensive weapon in her hands. The woman had now approached the side of her boat and Jordan stood at the top of the small ramp leading up to her vessel. She eyed the female standing before her, hands raised in the air, as Jordan let her gaze wander to the now approaching male. Hmm. I wonder what this is all about. Thinking for a moment, her brow furrowed in confusion as she regarded the woman again. " I suppose. It's not like I really have anything important going on at the moment. What do you want?"
<p>
Immediately every time a person approached her she automatically assumed that they wanted something. Perhaps it was because most did and Jordan didn't think that the woman was any different. Time would only tell.

<br><br><center>- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -<br>TAGGED: Rigs/Liinen & Evie/Brooke. WORD COUNT: 1045.. LYRICS: David Wilcox: Riverboat Fantasy. BANNER BY: ME. NOTES: Sorry it took a few days!.<br><br>YODAFIED JEDI OF CAUTION! MADE THIS TEMPLATE.</center></div>[/dohtml]

aaron riggles - February 6, 2012 09:02 PM (GMT)
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He had not gotten into that car expecting… expecting… that. Whatever it had been. It had not been diarrhoea of the mouth, that much was certain. Blabbering out stuff was Bailey’s job. Thinking of her made Aaron wish he had brought his fellow mercenary and the sunshine of the A9er camp. She had the magical knack of positive attitude towards everything and he absolutely loved her for it. He wondered what she would make of the tirade he had been delivered, or his reply. Had she been in the backseat, she would have most likely brought with her a bucket of popcorn and watched the exchange, as entertainment. Being part of it was not very entertaining. It was downright… was humiliating the right word? Yeah. To not have anything to contribute after such a storm felt inadequate.
<p>
Still, his words about her engagement seemed to hit a spot. Aaron had not said it to inspire a reaction, but was nevertheless soothed to see her grasp at the ring around her neck. Why he had not comprehended the significance of it before eluded him. “I’d have a drink right about now, but… I’m driving.” He would have wanted that drink before getting in the vehicle. So that he had time to become thoroughly befuddled before she sprung him with her emotions. It would have given him a good reason to stay put in camp as well. “And you don’t know anything for sure. If hope’s what’ve been keeping you going so far, don’t let it go just yet.” Aaron Riggles: Relationship-advisor in the post-apocalypse. Make your appointments. Hire a good lawyer. Things were not looking up.
<p>
To be able to park and get out of the confined space they were crammed it, it was a blessing. Evangeline behaved admirably, even checking for impending danger before thinking about running out. The hand on his arm, however, snapped him back to what she had said earlier. First looking over at her in confusion, he soon followed her pointed finger and immediately sported a wary expression, seeing the silhouette. “Evie, I already told you this isn’t a good id – Evie!” Girl had upped and walked out. Cursing under his breath, Aaron put the parking break on and managed to snatch the keys out of the ignition before following her. Unlike her slender physique, his held a slightly more intimidating factor, and he was certain that her mimicking she was unarmed would be discarded the moment he walked forth.
<p>
Aaron did not like the idea of meeting a stranger so soon. He had not been able to map out the area. He did not know what they were dealing with. But though he liked coming prepared, he was not a complete buffoon if things got thrown at him either. If he was, he could hardly work the stressful situations they so often found themselves in. So maybe Evangeline did not notice, but he did notice the almost western-like motions this new woman was making at her side. Even squinting against the sun, he knew what was resting there. His was not far away either. There was no way of telling how fast she would be, however. Aaron was no speedster. He could manage. But with the sun in his face? Odds were not in his favour.
<p>
For now, the woman responded without a threat. It seemed, from her words, she considered them an equal threat. Ok, good. Good. “We’re just here to check out the water.” He did not want to use the words ‘research’ or ‘samples’. Those hinted towards something scientific. They could not mention their mission, not outright.
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EVANGELINE BRENNAN - February 7, 2012 03:03 AM (GMT)
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<div style="text-align: justify; font-family: courier new; font-size: 7px; text-transform: uppercase;"> I’m not your drinking problem; a hole is in the sky. It’s not your heart that you’ve you been thinking of, just the feeling like you’re going to die. All I have to do is shake, shake; keep your body still, keep your body still. Our move is shake, shake, shake; keep your body still, keep your body still.</div>

<div style="border: 1px dotted #525252; font-family: arial, arial narrow; font-size: 10px; padding: 5px; overflow: auto; height: 446px; text-align: justify;"><p class="intro"> The idea of having a drink with Aaron was both a nice thought, as well as a disaster waiting to happen. Still, it was nice to know that the boy--er, <i>man</i> was the occasional drinker. Evie would have asked him if he had ever taken the alcohol he undoubtedly found in the encampment, which was frowned upon by the higher ranking individuals and a strict no-no within their makeshift walls, and had a few sips from it himself. Of course, seeing as how Aaron was a stickler for rules she highly doubted he had tried. He did not seem like the bend-the-rules kind of guy, after all. She would have been very surprised if he had said differently. Regardless, Evie had to save that question for another day because they had parked by then, scanned the area for infected, and Evie had then spotted a woman at the marina; a woman with a boat. Her excitement had peaked to an all-time high.<p>

Oh yes, she had <i>heard</i> Aaron caution her and she knew he was going to give her an earful when they were alone again, but Evie knew that this was their only chance. No other boats were at the marina, and Evie had to put her faith in humanity enough to know the person would not shoot on sight. That is, as long as Evie made it known she was <i>not</i> infected in any shape or form, nor a threat. So with her hands up, she had approached the boat and the woman. She had a friendly smile as the other woman asked what she had wanted. She was correct that Evie <i>did</i> want something; her time, her expertise, and her boat. Of course, Aaron spoke behind her first before Evie could get a word in. Vague much? Still, the smile was plastered on her face. <b>"Yes, we are here to check out the water, <i>but</i> I need some help. My name is Evie and I have taken shelter a few miles from here,"</b> A bit of a lie, but not really. Where Evie had taken shelter was a secret from all of the Area 9 outsiders, and it was strictly forbidden to mention it or their task. Evie knew the more she spoke about herself and her mission, the more she would be at risk as well as her co-workers. Even though she had not said too much, she could already feel Aaron's eyes boring holes in the back of her head. She knew she was already going to get an earful. <b>"I'm a science engineer, and lately I've been trying to figure out a way to purify water for personal usage, but obviously the water in town is <i>infested</i> with those things. It's terrible and it's contaminated our water supply, so I was hoping to maybe use the water from the ocean -- it's trickier, but I think I've managed to figure out a way,"</b> Another lie, but Evie was confident in her ability to lie to people.<p>

She shifted her weight to the other foot, and shielded her eyes to take a better look at the woman above her. <b>"I need to see if the water is contaminated or not, and while I could just take samples from the marina I don't think I would get the most accurate reading. So I was wondering, if you would be so kind, as to take us a little further out on your boat so I can gather several samples of the water in different parts of the area."</b> She said, making sure to refresh her smile and her general, friendly appearance. She made a motion with her hands for the girl to wait, and not to see it as a threat before rifling in her bag and pulling out four bottles of water and three cans of food. <b>"I would pay, of course."</b> She said, holding them up for the girl to see. She knew Aaron was going to be pissed with her, but if he honestly thought that Evie could get away without bartering something in return he was going to be completely useless to her. She would deal with him later. <b>"It would just be the two of us on the boat. I hired this guy to protect me from infected and be my errand boy. He's a brute, really. He won't cause any problems."</b> She added when she noticed the girl had been looking at him. Of course, the statement had also been a warning to Aaron. <b>"Just think on it a minute."</b> She told the girl, trying to make it seem like they were in no rush. Evie took a step back to where she could safely look Aaron in the face. The smile was still plastered on her face, but her voice was low and harsh. <b>"Just let me do the talking from now on, <i>please</i>. This is our only chance, and I think she's intimidated by you."</b> She said sharply before staring up at the girl, waiting for a reply.

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JORDAN JAMES - February 8, 2012 04:38 PM (GMT)
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<center>Delta sun beats down like a hammer. Mmmm....it gives the low down blues. I've got a cotton gin. I'll weave and spin. And shake the dust from my shoes. I made my money. I found me a honey. To tickle me under my chin. When mornin' comes. I'll ride into town. And worry 'bout the shape I'm in.<br>
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As Jordan stoop at the top on the ramp, she watched as a decent looking man came to a stop just behind the woman, an almost menacing look upon his face. Probably trying to intimidate her. She snorted. Yeah. Okay there bud. “We’re just here to check out the water.” Huh. Didn't expect that. Okay well maybe a little. " Care to elaborate there, pal?" She gazed upon the male, sizing him up. By his stance and the slightly protective hint in his voice, she figured he wasn't really one for pleasantries. Well he wasn't getting on her boat if he didn't tell her his name and what he wanted with her craft. For all she knew they were going to rib her. Yeah. Not happening.
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For now, Jordan fixed her attention on the brunette, who was now standing at the bottom of the ramp. JJ rectified her stance, spreading her feet a little wider apart, her hand twitching to touch metal. When she was out on the water, she allowed herself to relax a bit but when it came time for foot to touch land, Jordan was always on high alert. In this day and age, one had to be. It irked her a little, but she forced herself to come to terms with the fact that not everyone was as nice as she wanted them to be. Of course that thought brought another to the forefront of her mind. Well, more a memory. It was about a week ago, when she was forced to dock to repair a crack that appeared in her hull. Without going into too much detail she had been attacked, the attackers attempting to steal her boat. Not on her watch. A bit of a scuffle and a few curse words later, the man lay unconscious behind a tool shed and Jordan scampered onto her boat, nursing a dislocating pinky. Yeah. Not the best day ever.
<p>
Shaking her head as if trying to shake off a fly, Jordan returned her gaze to the woman, her eyes flickering briefly to the man that stood behind her. "Yes, we are here to check out the water, but I need some help. My name is Evie and I have taken shelter a few miles from here. I'm a science engineer, and lately I've been trying to figure out a way to purify water for personal usage, but obviously the water in town is infested with those things. It's terrible and it's contaminated our water supply, so I was hoping to maybe use the water from the ocean -- it's trickier, but I think I've managed to figure out a way," Jordan's eyebrow rose at the statement. Trying to find a way to decontaminate water for usage? Hmm. That wasn't something you heard everyday. Yet there was something in the woman's voice that didn't quite match up with her statements. Jordan had always had the ability to tell if a person was lying, almost as if she was a human lie detector. She could also mostly find out the meaning behind the lie. Whether the intent of the lie was malicious or sincere or anything really. There were a few, though, that had been able to slip by her detection. She just hoped that her read on the woman's lie wouldn't screw her over in the long run.
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"I need to see if the water is contaminated or not, and while I could just take samples from the marina I don't think I would get the most accurate reading. So I was wondering, if you would be so kind, as to take us a little further out on your boat so I can gather several samples of the water in different parts of the area." Jordan only nodded. It actually sounded like a good plan. The closer to land, the greater chance of infection, right? Before the woman could take her nod as an okay to come aboard, Jordan spoke. " Well, to be honest, I don't normally allow people on my boat. First time I did the the bastard tried to have me for the main course. So pardon me if I seem a little tetchy. Comes with the whole world ending thing."
<p> As the woman- Evie, she'd said her name was- made a move to put up her hands, Jordan's hand twitched in the direction of her gun again. Holy Jesus, she was starting to become trigger happy. Damn freaking outbreak made her prison bitch jumpy when she was on land. JJ watched as Evie withdrew four bottles of water and three cans of food. "I would pay, of course." Ah. There it was. Jordan was waiting for the bribe. Her lips quirked into a half smile as her eyes flickered over to the man. Yeah, he looked a little ticked. For some reason that made Jordan feel a little smug. She returned her gaze to Evie and offered her a smile. As the brunette turned around and talked in a low voice to the male, Jordan thought over it. She was short on the food, any you could never have enough water, but she supposed that she'd offer them a bottle anyways.
<p>
Jordan waited for the woman to turn back to her before taking a slight step forward to emphasize her point." Well, if there's payment and you two promise not to try anything too fishy then I suppose I could lend my services. Just...don't touch any of my shit and we'll be good." The last part of her statement was more directed at the man. She stepped off the ram and stood to the said, sweeping her arm out in a welcoming gesture." Welcome to my home. You wreck it then you'll be overboard before you can blink." As the two slightly hesitated before walking up the ramp, JJ looked at Evie. " You can keep the water. I only need the food."
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EVANGELINE BRENNAN - February 19, 2012 06:09 AM (GMT)
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<td style="height: 550px; width: 10px; background-color: darkslategray;">&nbsp;</td><td style="width: 360px; height: 550px; padding: 10px; background-color: #FAFAFA;" valign="top"> <div style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 50px; color: darkslategray; text-align: right; margin-bottom: -10px;">evie brennan</div>
<div style="text-align: justify; font-family: courier new; font-size: 7px; text-transform: uppercase;"> I’m not your drinking problem; a hole is in the sky. It’s not your heart that you’ve you been thinking of, just the feeling like you’re going to die. All I have to do is shake, shake; keep your body still, keep your body still. Our move is shake, shake, shake; keep your body still, keep your body still.</div>

<div style="border: 1px dotted #525252; font-family: arial, arial narrow; font-size: 10px; padding: 5px; overflow: auto; height: 446px; text-align: justify;"><p class="intro"> It took a lot of restraint for Evie not to simply rip off her clothes and, in her swimming suit mind you, dive into the water. Area 9 had water, but nothing seemed to appeal to Evie more than what she stared at now. It was a deep, beautiful aqua color and it seemed calm. Honestly, the entire area seemed fairly untouched. Other than the three of them it looked as if no one was around, but Evie knew better than to let her guard down. <b>"Is it just you aboard the boat, then?"</b> She asked, though she kept her tone as polite as she could muster. She knew she could not rely on her gut alone, but she was almost certain that the woman was alone. She looked capable enough to handle herself, and Evie knew there was a gun hidden somewhere. Still, she seemed to relax a little when Evie had explained herself and even granted them access. So Evie adjusted the strap of her bag on her shoulder and walked on board. <b>"If you don't mind me asking, what's your name?"</b> She asked, realizing that the woman had not once mentioned her name.<p>

Of course, neither had her now silent partner whom stood behind her like a little black rain cloud about to burst at any moment. She could only wonder what he was thinking, and even though she did not look back at him she was almost certain he had a rather stern, all-business look about him. She could sense it. He was on high alert. Evie, however, was not. <b>"Oh no, I really just want to get some samples of the water, that's all. I really don't think we'll be able to use our water system anytime in the near future, and I don't think water bottles are going to last us much longer, you know?"</b> She said as she bent down on one knee and set her bag down, rummaging through it to begin setting up the vials she would catch the water in. Normally she would have something more elaborate, a system that made it easier to collect what she needed in a simple way. Unfortunately, time did not allow such things this go around. She simply had a few vials waiting to be filled with the liquid, and another vial that was basically attached to a string to catch the water in. Then there was some sterilizing fluid that she would use to renew the water catcher each time she used it. It was not perfect, but it worked in a pinch.<p>

At the mention of food, Evie felt a bit relieved. She had been very generous in her offer, but this was her first time out on the field. She had no idea what to really expect it to take in order to get what she needed. Seeing as the food was a good enough, she gladly handed them over to the woman with a smile. <b>"Thank you so much for all of this."</b> Evie said as she handed the food over and then bent back down to go to work. When she was finally set up and ready to go at a moment’s notice she stood up, and placed her hands on her hips with a smile. <b>"Ready when you are, Captain."</b> She said with a small laugh before heading to the bow of the boat, motioning for Aaron to pick up her bag and follow her. She had, after all, "hired" him as help. She wanted to make it seem as though he was still seen as such. Once they were out of earshot, Evie gazed over at him for a moment before looking back out to sea. <b>"Well?</b> She asked. Evie was waiting for his reaction, but he had been so silent so far she knew he would have a lot to say. Good or bad, she was ready to handle whatever it is that he planned to say.


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aaron riggles - February 22, 2012 05:13 PM (GMT)
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Though he was very adamant on not mentioning with specific words what precisely they were doing, Aaron did not trust Evangeline to exercise the same caution. She had already made it clear her ties to Whitesand were due force alone. Had he not prevented her from it back in Canada, she would be far away from the entire ordeal months ago. All he could hope was that now she was stuck here with him regardless, she saw the value in cooperating. And if she could see that, then she could also see the value in keeping silent about Area 9. It pleased him to note she did, though he would have preferred her to exclude the mentioning of a profession. Then again jobs were a commodity most people had, and completely innocent in the grander scheme of things. Bargaining with their food and drink, however… She would hear his two cents about that later.
<p>
For now, he was looming and shutting up. He was ‘a brute’, after all. The use of those words might have insulted another, but Aaron did not care. It gave him a reason to be there. Evangeline did not need to hiss at him – in a low voice, disabling the stranger from hearing – and specify how she should do the talking. “I got that,” he replied curtly, eyes trained on the woman up ahead. There were some nervous twitching going around the gun at her hip, but he could see an attack was not imminent. Being approached by two people claiming to want a look at the water, aided by your boat… it probably did not bode well in these times. Aaron had not had to fend for himself out here since the event occurred. He had a posse and a company at his back that he supported 110%. Nervousness was out of the question.
<p>
The lady could not be too nervous, evident by how they mere seconds later were allowed onboard her vessel. Words of warning aside, she was not taking a lot of precautions. Aaron was by far bigger and stronger than her, and could overpower her easily should he so wish. Since it was not on his to-do list, he boarded without any fuss and surveyed this new environment. Not all of the boat could be seen with a brief look but he got the gist of it. Enough to know where to go should anything happen. He soon wished he could aid Evangeline with something, so he did not have to just stand there and look sheepish. Not that he had an expression conveying exactly how out-of-place he felt. He was still all silent and stern business. ‘A brute’.
<p>
Picking up the bag as he was motioned to, Aaron trailed after his ‘hirer’ to the bow. “We’re on a boat with a complete stranger, who will guide us out on the open sea. There’s no guarantee she hasn’t teamed up with anybody out there, Evie. They could jump us. My gut tells me she’s ok but my gut isn’t my brain. My brain isn’t too happy with the current situation. I’m on alert and so should you be. Keep your eyes and ears open, and don’t get fooled by a pretty smile. I want you to get your samples and I’d prefer it to happen without incident. So let’s strive for that.
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JORDAN JAMES - April 13, 2012 09:00 PM (GMT)
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<center>Delta sun beats down like a hammer. Mmmm....it gives the low down blues. I've got a cotton gin. I'll weave and spin. And shake the dust from my shoes. I made my money. I found me a honey. To tickle me under my chin. When mornin' comes. I'll ride into town. And worry 'bout the shape I'm in.<br>
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"Is it just you aboard the boat, then?"
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Jordan's eyes followed the other woman and she walked on board. She really didn't seem like much of a threat, but looks can be deceiving. Until Jordan knew better, her guard was going to stay up. " Yeah. I don't normally keep much company. I like my independence. Plus I'm known on the playground to be a little selfish. You can understand that, can't'cha? And the name is Jordan." There. Explanation and name answered all in one. You could tell she preferred to keep to herself by the slight roughness to her voice. No people around, no need to talk.
<p>
Jordan looked behind Evie at the man who was still just standing there, still as a friggen statue. Did the dude have no emotion or anything? He was more stiff Than Jordan's grandad....who's been dead for the last five years. She barely registered the fact that Evie was talking and she turned her attention back to the brunette. When Evie handed her to food, Jordan tossed it into a basket and kicked the basket under one of the seats on deck. It would do for now, until she was able to move freely upon her boat once again. "Thank you so much for all of this." Jordan nodded and moved back to the ramp and pulled it up when the man finally decided to board. She rolled her eyes at his stiff posture and moved to press the button that would pull her anchor up.
<p>
As the two moved to the bow, Jordan slid behind the wheel, ready to leave whenever they wanted to. All her business ashore had been finished so now she was a free agent, apparently one for hire at the moment. She grinned wryly when Evie gave her to go ahead before turning back to the man. He was grumbling to her about something or other and honestly Jordan wasn't bothered by it. She was sure she'd find out sooner or later just what they were up to. Or where they'd come from.
<p>
Once they were far enough out in the water, Jordan addressed Evie. " So whereabouts you wanna stop? Just tell me when."


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EVANGELINE BRENNAN - April 23, 2012 05:29 PM (GMT)
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All of what Jordan said made sense to her. The idea of independence and the freedom of going one's own way made Evie feel a bit envious of her. It also put Evie at ease, feeling less and less on the defensive with the other girl. <b>"I can definitely understand that. If I had a boat to myself I'd likely be doing the same thing you are."</b> She replied with a genuine smile. If only! As the boat began to lurch forward, Evie steadied herself and set her gear in a safe spot where sudden turns and the like would not cause it to go overboard. Each vial had been carefully placed in some foam so that they could be tossed about and still not break. So long as the tops were securely in place Evie would have no problem transporting them back to the lab. Aaron hovered over here the entire time, most likely keeping his eyes peeled for the dangerous people on the terrifying open waters.<p>

When she was finally set up, vials for the samples at the ready, Evie had made the mistake of asking Aaron what he thought. She knew he would eventually make his opinions known, but she had not expected him to word vomit all over the bow of the boat. She listened intently, and tried not to interject while he spoke. <b>"Well, your gut also needs to lay off the food back at camp so I can see where your brain takes issue."</b> Jokes had not been off the table. She could not help herself, and she even went as far as to poke him in the stomach with her finger as she grinned at him. However, she quickly wiped the smile off of her face and tried to look serious. <b>"I understand, and you can trust me that I won't let my guard down. Besides, we're in the open water and it would be pretty hard to miss another boat approaching."</b> She added, which was a good point. If another boat approached she was sure that Aaron could take control of Jordan and this boat before they came close enough. She had faith in him. <b>"I also promise not to let her sexy smile reel me in. I mean, it will be tough, but I think I can manage it."</b> Yet another joke. She could not help herself.<p>

When Jordan began talking, asking Evie where she should stop, she had already packed away her first sample from right before they took off. Her plan was to have at least four samples; one close to the docks, and three more at select areas further out. <b>"Sure, if you could just take us another half mile out and make a stop there I'll get the next sample."</b> She called back, and zipped her bag up to protect the gear. Evie closed her eyes, feeling the breeze and smelling the salty water. For a moment everything seemed normal; like nothing had happened in the world and she was simply on vacation. However, the mainland was still in view and when she opened her eyes she saw a few of the decaying bodies stumbling around trying to find the noise that the boat made. Evie let out a sigh. No amount of sun bathing and enjoying the water would erase this. <b>"If they climb into the water I assume they die eventually in the depths, but they have to do some pretty bad damage to the water surrounding them."</b> It was mostly an observation to herself, but with Aaron standing next to her she knew he had heard her. Evie let out another sigh, shook her head, and turned away from the scene and back to her work.
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aaron riggles - April 26, 2012 07:47 AM (GMT)
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He really was sounding like a paranoid freak. As if he suspected a whole tribe of mermaids to suddenly ascend from the darkness below and attack the boat, taking them all hostage. No such thing was even remotely on his mind. Aaron did not grant fantasy creatures any means to occupy his thoughts. Not when there were real horrors out there no book had ever done justice. They were living in the middle of it all and there was no room for dragons or manticores or Cthulu. So he did not think there would be men with fishtails, but he did not close his brain to the possibility there might be men with fishboats ready to shoot them. He put killing past no-one in their current scenario.
<p>
Evangeline offered him a really bad joke, and he simply stared at her in response. Not funny, is what his eyes conveyed. “Thanks for the input,” he replied coldly, looking out over the ocean in front of them as her finger connected with his stomach. That could have pushed him further down the road of annoyance, but he chose to let it slide. There were other things to think about than her playful mood. Her point was a good one though. As long as they stood vigilant, the two of them would not miss another vessel approaching. Unless there was somebody hidden below deck. In that case they would be unpleasantly surprised. “You’re right.” He did not bother replying in a lengthier fashion. Instead he placed the bag next to her and motioned that it was ripe for the picking.
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She soon said a thing he had hoped nobody would point out so he did not need to worry about it anymore than he already did, namely how the decaying bodies could potentially ruin the water. It had occurred to him before, yet he had not voiced his opinion out loud, knowing his job was not to speculate in the scientists’ affairs. Then again, he would have done so should it have come to a situation where it might be considered vital information. “If we eventually begin cleaning up this world and dispense of the remaining undead, we can never be sure there aren’t any wandering the depths of the oceans and lakes, just waiting for a careless fisherman to revive them. It’s not a pleasant thought at all.” All in all, the world would never be the same. There would never be an illusion about it even. Things had changed, permanently.
<p>
Casting a long glance at whatever it was she was doing, Aaron decided to speak to their escort. Find out more about her. What her view on the whole thing was. “You got this?” It was not as much a question as it was a dismissal of himself. He would be no help. Turning around, he squinted against the sun at the woman behind them, and waved somewhat friendly, loosening up his posture. Perhaps it looked like he was finally relaxing, now that they were on the boat. He approached her slowly, however, knowing that to her, he was the intruder. Besides, he had seen her hand twitch, so he knew she had a gun. “Jordan right? I’m Aaron.” He managed a genuine smile. Wow. “How are you holding up on your own in this… mess?
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JORDAN JAMES - June 8, 2012 03:47 PM (GMT)
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When Evie spoke, Jordan just nodded her head to the other woman. Yes. She loved being on her own, doing what she wanted. Yet at times it got super lonely. Even as independent as she is, she was still human and humans craved attention from others. Regardless if it was positive or negative. Casting a glance at the brunette, JJ spotted some vials lined up, ready to be used. She tilted her head as she wondered exactly what sort of water samples the two strangers were after. Sure, Evie had told her but Jordan was ever the suspicious creature. Never take anything at face value and all. The two were hunched over, talking in rushed lowered voices. The roar of the engine and the sound of the crashing waves made it impossible to decipher exactly what they were saying. Eh, whatever.
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Another half mile. How far exactly were they planning to go from shore? She supposed that they needed to go quite a ways in order to gather water samples with the hope that it was infection free. But the infection had been spreading for months now. Jordan would be shocked if there was still some un-infected water around. Heck, with the amount of zombie corpses Jordan herself had tossed in the water, it was near astounding. Good luck to them. " Sure thing. Just tell me when ya want me to stop, lady." It was an odd feeling, other people giving out demands on her vessel. Sure, she was doing them a favor and had no idea exactly where they wanted to go, but it was still a foreign feeling. Heck, the only person who ever got away with giving any sort of demand on her boat was Seth, and that was only if Jordan was in a good enough mood to humor him.
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The sun was starting to irritate her eyes so Jordan reached onto the dash and grabbed for her shades. Slipping them on, she grinned to herself. Much better. At least this way, she would end up crashing them into an island or whatever. She continued watching the two strangers going at it and grinned. Yet another reason why she liked solitude. When the man got up and turned in her direction and gave her a half hearted wave, Jordan got a little confused. Perhaps the woman had forced him to be more friendly. Perhaps they were scheming something. You never really knew. As he walked towards her, Jordan gaze went out over the water. Twitching the wheel slightly, she righted her course.
<p>
“Jordan right? I’m Aaron. How are you holding up on your own in this… mess?”
<p>
Ah. He speaks. With a raised brow, Jordan took a breath. " Yep, that's right. Nice to meetcha, Aaron." His question sort of threw her off balance. No one, not even Seth, had ever really asked her how she handled the whole people eating people thing and all that jazz. She was a little shocked. " Well, it helps to be wary of everyone, no matter if they look safe or not. You never know in this world. Especially since the outbreak people are more...vigorous, if you get my meaning. Ruthless. But I sell my services for rations and shit I need. How 'bout you. What's your story? Gotta be something good if you're this uptight."


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aaron riggles - June 18, 2012 09:34 PM (GMT)
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She did not look at him right off the bat, rather stared out over the open sea instead of following him with her eyes. This was promising. Had she kept her eyes on his approaching figure, she would have mimicked a lion following its prey. Hopefully she was not a trigger-happy hillbilly, but even though she had a pretty face and a boat, there was no guarantee she had not murdered her way to this luxury whilst flashing her pearly white teeth and laughing menacingly. Ok, so Aaron was granting her the ludicrous villainy of a true horror antagonist, but you never knew. He believed in a person’s innate goodness. He just did not believe in it so much he was blind to threats.
<p>
His question did not seem to startle her as much as intrigue her, and Aaron was instantly content with his opening line. He did not want her to think about attacking them or otherwise throw them overboard, he wanted her to think about the world as a whole and how this impacted her in particular. One of the key ingredients in getting somebody to like you was to talk about them and ask them questions. The Canadian did this without much thought. He had done it before even reading about its psychological benefits, so stopping would be silly.
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She basically ended up voicing exactly what was on his mind too. That there was a grander scale of ruthlessness than there had been before. “I agree. I hope you understand why I wasn’t all smiles when we boarded. Even thought it’s us entering your boat, we’re taking a risk too.” And his story? He could not tell her about Area 9, but he could tell her about enough loss to make her realize he too was a human being with feelings. He did not much want to seem like a Terminator. Terminators were easier to kill than humans. Well, ok, no they were not, technically speaking, easy to kill, but morally so. “Something good, heh?” he mused, grimacing with a slight smile and let his eyes wander over the ocean for a bit. “I used to be a security guard. In a sense I still am…” He waved towards Evangeline, the busy bee. “I’m not going to tell you the whole tale of how I survived, because I think most people have the same story now, but… let’s just say there aren’t many reasons left for me to stay alive outside of trying to find a way to live here. Make it safe again.
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