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Lance Carter (played by LoveSickCow) (I will send links like this every now and then of a song or something like if the cult is playing their song when we interact with them, and you can go to the link and listen to it if you want for fun. This link is to a song that I imagine as the theme for the rp)

A calm breeze kicks up the dust of the ground scarce of any vegetation, the ground that is solid and dry, the ground of a wasteland. To your left is barren, empty land, and to your right, is empty, and barren land. The only beauty was the sun, which was rising for the morning, and painting the sky in a blaze of orange. As your eyes steady forward you see something in the distance. A city, with buildings tall, at least taller then most settlements you have seen. In the middle there is a large crane. In your hand you hold a note, handed to you by a courier, that states;

I must make this letter quickly, I am the mayor of Crane City, and am in dire need of help. You may have heard of, or dealt with these cults rising up and harassing everyone, and recently my city has been dealing with them. My guards are doing all they can but as we get smaller and smaller they get larger and larger. I promise a huge reward, the thing they are after, we have gas pumps here and we have been able to produce enough gas to sustain a whole population...but word got out to them and now we are a target for them. If you can help us in anyway, I will let you tap into our supply. I am sending this letter to as many people I can willing to fight the cult...I hope at least one of you accepts my offer.

Haydn Curtis, Crane City Mayor.

As you look back to the city, you figure with the giant crane in the middle, this was no doubt Crane City. It doesn't take long to approach it, and as you make your way to the front gate two men in armor made out of scrap metal and shoulder pads that where once used for football players, rose from their seats and raised their cross bows at her.

They seemed almost scared, and on edge, like anything was a threat at this point."Halt! What are you doing here?"He asked sternly to her. Behind them was the wall surrounding the city, made out of metals and woods, barbwire covered the top, and there was car tires stacked up all around for protection. Beyond the guards you could see the city, it was the most active community you have ever seen, people walking to jobs, and guards patrolling the streets, buildings and homes for each job and resident. It was something more scarce in this world then the vegetation on the ground, a society.
Lance Carter (played by LoveSickCow)

(Ill let you paste your stuff and Ill do mine and ect. until everything is up to date
Jones Monet (played by Hunny_stuff)

Ruins before her, ruins behind her; the young woman's brow was knotted, wrinkled deeply with the weight of her obsessive thoughts-- her obsessive worries.

Across the barren lands, which were bleak with chalky browns and stormy greys, there was little to look upon, little to be impressed by. Yet in comparison, the paper she clenched so tightly, stared at so intensly, was greatly of more interest.

A letter from the mayor of a city she had never visited, let alone seen, was gripped in her hands and sticking to the sweat of her palms as she read the words over and over again-- repeating the same lines just to make sure she was positive the words were real.

The fact that a courier was able to find her whereabouts was no less than a miracle, and this piece of parchment could mean a great change in her life... In her mother's life.

The young woman glanced to her right without lifting her head, and looked at the older woman sauntering beside her with a bulky pack upon her shoulders.

She still looked fit, like she could take down a few people with ease, but she and her daughter knew better than that. They understood that the woman was growing older, and ever more weak and weary with every trip they took-- every meal they missed.

She shook the thoughts away, letting her eyes return to the road ahead. She was no less than amazed at what she saw.

Buildings. Tall buildings, and a machine she had never seen before towered above the entirety of the city.

"A crane..." She muttered, her tone quiet from the pure awe.

She signaled to her mother to pick up the pace when the walls of the great city became visible, yet she was weary of becoming too excited when she noticed guards in makeshift armor standing up from their posts, weapons drawn.

"Hands, Jonell, hands!" Her mother pestered in her ear before lifting her hands in front of her chest, palms forward.

The young woman fought off the urge to glare at her mother, before complying and showing the same gesture.

This was one she truly disliked-- it showed too much submission for her tastes, and people took advantage of any found weakness.

However; the closer they walked, the more she noticed that these guards were on edge, antsy to fire their arrows the moment they screwed up.

"Halt, what are you doing here?" One of the guards demanded cautiously.

The young woman gave her mother a look before approaching the gate.

The guards tensed the moment she did, raising their crossbows hurriedly before the second guard- slightly smaller than the first- shouted, "Keep your distance and state why you're here!"

They watched with distrust as the young woman rose her brows, but spoke, "I got a letter from the mayor... said he needed help clearing out some cults."

Brown eyes looked between the men, "Was it wrong?"

They looked at each other, before the taller of the two lowered his weapon.

"Hand me the letter, girl."

She did so, ignoring his clear disdain, and watching him carefully as he read over the wrinkled paper.

"Identification," he said without looking up, "both of you."

Both women complied, pulling out their ID's, which held their information and acted as passports, declaring where they could and could not travel.

They handed him the tiny ID booklets, and the guard seemed to scoff as he read aloud, "Factionless."

He looked at them, "Jonell Monet, and Farrah Monet," the young woman tensed, her hands lowering now as the guard continued, "A couple of wanderers... no wonder the mayor called for you lot,"

He returned the letter and their ID's, "Cuz' no one'll give a damn if you die..."

The young woman found that she could not withhold her anger -but just as she lifted her head with her mouth prepped to yell, her mother caught her shoulder and her roar died in her throat.

Her mouth pressed into a hard line, but she refused to let him off completely.

As the smaller guard opened the gates of the city, the young woman looked back with a glare as she passed the threshold.

"You don't get to call me Jonell, bastard. It's Jones."
Lance Carter (played by LoveSickCow)

The city seemed rather busy, people waking up from the pale sunrise where all heading to their places where they would start their day. The city had the sound of people talking and machines running gently in the background, bringing life to a otherwise quite and dead wasteland.

The smell of food was in the air, as their where people vending chunks of squirrel and steaks on the side of the walk ways. Men and women where gathered around stalls selling various items, as if people here had the luxury to just consume things they didnt need. People here where not surviving, they where living. There was a bar to one side of the street, and group of machinist working on a car on the other. And at the very end, right past the crane, you saw a tall and wide building, with a crudely painted sign that said Town Hall.

The guard you spoke to earlier said something behind you."The mayor should be in his office in the town hall...Jones..." He said before taking his post again.

As the building was pointed at to them a large man shrouded in a hood stepped through the door. His eyes shifted around the building. It was run down, like every building he had ever been in, but this one had at least some merits to it. He saw a red headed woman at a desk as soon as he walked in.

"Can I help you?"She asked seeming very bored

"The mayor wanted me. Where is he."He asked with his graveled voice.

She raised her hand and pointed to a door down the hall. The man looked at the door before sticking his hands in his pocket and stepping in. Mayor Curtis was at his desk, writing more letters as he walked in. He looked up with wide eyes, seeming scared for a moment as he walked in.

"Are....are you a War Pig?"He asked with a shaken voice, something about the mans appearance struck him as intimidating.

"I am Lance sent me this letter."He said as he retrieved the letter from out of his pocket and slapped it in front of him.

"O-oh...I was worried no one would actually get these letters..."He said as with a relieved sigh."I was hoping there would be more people far you are the only one."He said dishearteningly.

"I should be the only one you need."He said as he lifted his head a little, showing the bottom half of his face under the shadowed hood.

Just then the door opened again, it was the red head woman."Sir, a Guard told me a Mrs.Jones is here, said you sent her one of those letters."She said before leaving again.

"Nevermind then...I will just take a seat and wait for them to come in..."The man said as he grabbed one of the chairs and sat down, leaning his elbows on his knees.
Jones Monet (played by Hunny_stuff)

A bustling city with people speaking to each other rather than wrestling in the streets?

Machines that worked for the purpose of building and not destroying?

Jones looked around the city in complete wonder, and for some reason -she felt small. This way of life was foreign, and this society was foreign-- everything about this city was... foreign.

Her mother returned to her side, a smile on her withered and scarred face. She looked at her daughter, "Reminds me of old times... the better times..."

Jones furrowed her brow, and her nerves were already firing off.

"Those tales of cities like this...were true?"

"Of course! But the city I lived in was far more complex, but this- this is good, Jonell."

Jones swallowed, but her nerves dried her mouth and scorched her throat.

She was out of her element, but she had to adjust, she had to get this job done.

Just as she nodded for her mother to walk, she heard a voice speak to her from behind.

The guard was talking, though clearly much more humble, as he told her of the mayor's office, and fixed his prior mistake.

Another surprise to her, one she did not know the response of.

"Say thank you." Her mother urged, and her mouth moved in obedience, "Thank you..."

Her voice trailed the moment she realized the strange words exited her mouth, but the soldier nodded timidly before returning to his post.

When the gate closed behind them, long fingers ran through coils of deep brown hair.

These people, they lived a completely different reality from her.

All around she could see trade and sells, the purchase of luxury goods, things that met no needs of survival, but rather the means of satisfaction.

Jones never had that.

All her life was running and fighting, and even stealing. What did she know of courtesy and manners? What the hell was a 'thank you'?

As the smell of food taunted her rumbling stomach, Jones concentrated on getting to the town hall, while her mother looked around the city in amazement, and reminisced of the old world-- her world.

The sounds of people clacking glasses together at a bar, and the whirring of a drill under a car only quickened Jones's pace, until she reached past the enormous crane and came to the front of a large building, with white paint crudely titling it, 'Town Hall'.

This was it.

Jones took the arm of her mother and found herself entering a wide room, with a woman seated at a desk in the middle. A man was speaking with her before he left to another room down a smaller passage way.

Calling upon her grit, Jones approached the desk with her mother in tow.

The woman sitting behind the desk, adorned with red hair rose a brow, seeming unimpressed as she spoke, "I'm assuming you're..." She glanced at a paper on her desk, "Jones?"

"Yes. I'm here because--", "the mayor's letter?" The woman interrupted.

Jones ignored the woman butting in and nodded.

The red-head stood and gestured for the two to follow her.

They walked down a hall, "The guards told me you were here, so I'm not surprised." She said, and Jones had guessed as much.

They came to a room and the red-head opened the door and peeked in, speaking to whoever was inside.

Jones could hear two different voices, both were masculine.

She flattened her mouth, and her mother tried neatening the dust covered shawl, and baggy tactical pants she wore before they were escorted inside.

Two men awaited them inside.

One was clearly aged, dressed relatively nice, and he held an air of importance.

The other... Jones couldn't tell much of him other than, she knew he was the same man from in the lobby-- tall and concealed-- his face and features a secret to those around him.

She narrowed her eyes at him, and guessed that he was here with the same desire as she.

She looked back at the older man, knowing that he was mayor Curtis, and introduced herself, "I am Jones Monet." She pointed to her mother who had found a chair and taken a seat, "This is my mother, Farrah."

"We're here because of your letter, mayor Curtis."
Lance Carter (played by LoveSickCow)

Curtis looked at the three in his room."Well As the letter stated you are all gathered here for the same reason...those cults have been banging at our walls for a while now...I know that someone or something would one day, with how well this city is doing we where asking for trouble..."He asked as he lowered his head and sighed. His fingers tapped nervously on the desk in front of him."I know you all are not really an army...but I dont know who else to turn guards need to stay here because if they leave we are just asking for an attack and my people here are not really known as warriors...and well I asked around and they said you guys have been known to get stuff done. Hopefully as you work the others I contacted will come through and maybe more help can be on the way but for now I ask you two do whatever you can...I can offer you and resources you may need, within reasonable means to fight them."He said

Curtis paused for a second and the man sitting on the chair chimed in.

"Do you know where any are? We need a starting point you know..."He scuffed

"Yes yes, far east of here the Clearwater Creedence have a camp, and they are the ones closest to us and the keep giving us struggle....if you can do anything about them that would send a message to those cultist bastards. And if I where you I would try to see if you could ever get help from the PKA(Dont have the document done I will go in debth on who the PKA is soon)because I know just you few wont do this by yourself."He said

"Mmhmm...It will be done."The man said as he stood up from his chair and headed for the door.

"Mr.Lance, are you not going to invite the two ladies along with you?"Curtis asked as he watched him saunter to the door.

Lance turned to him, his eye slightly peering out of the hood."You didnt say anything about working together."He grumbled.

"On the contrary I did...I know you may be confident in your skill but these cultist...they are should not do this alone."He said sincerely

Lance stood there motionless for a second before he pulled his hood down. He looked young, but hardened and weathered at the same time. His face cracked and wrinkled just a little from the desert sun, and he had a stern look to him. His hair was cut short, and his beard was a stubble, and it didn't do much to cover the scars that where nicked on parts of his cheek and lip.

"I didnt mean to seem rude..."He said in his graveled tone."I am just used to being the lone name is Lance you two have a car, or do you need a ride?"He asked as his eyes shifted between the two, as if evaluating them
Jones Monet (played by Hunny_stuff)

Clearwater Creedence...

Jones had caught word of their cult before while she and her mother traveled through desert ruins, seeking their next hideaway. The cult was appearantly a bunch of people off their rockers about something called a CD. A disk that could play music of all things.

Jones wrote it off as nonsense before, but seeing as how society has still managed to keep some of its ancient ways, the ordeal didn't seem so farfetched.

The group didn't seem like anything more than a nuisance from the way Curtis stated it-- the mission couldn't take too long.

They just needed to rough them up a bit, hopefully nothing more serious than that.

That's when she noticed the young man stood up and went for the door, only stopping when Curtis confronted him.

"Mr. Lance, are you not going to invite the two ladies along with you?"

"You didn't say anything about working together."

Jones let her brows lower while her mother stood up and came to her, their gazes both on the tall man who stood at the door way.

Jones couldn't tell if the man was cocky, aloof, or what, but his responses made her tick.

Something about his tone, the way he spoke... No, she shouldn't dwindle on it.

She always had a tendency to convince herself she didn't like people even when they've done little wrong.

They appearantly were going to partnered in these missions-- she couldn't let herself put up too many barriers. Or maybe she should.

The man removed his hood, finally revealing his face, unobscured, to the entirety of the room.

Though Jones knew he was at least younger than Curtis, she didn't expect him to be that much younger.

He looked tough, mean, like someone spat on his shoe.

And as if to bring his appearance up a few years, his jaw was covered in peppery stubble, and his hair was cut short, close to his head, revealing a pink scalp.

He had scars on his face, down his cheek, much like Jones's own-- and his voice was nothing short of a rumble-- almost like a soft growl from the back of his throat as he spoke,

"Do you two have a car, or do you need a ride?"

Jones chewed her tongue, her brows still furrowed-- creating deep impressions in her usually smooth forehead.

They used to have a motorbike, and for years her mother rode that beast through the ruinous deserts and valleys. But like everything, it lost its use and became a pile of rusting metal-- its usable pieces being traded off for something they could use or eat.

They were never able to find, or even get close to trading for any other vehicle, let alone a car.

Her eyes met Lance's, making deliberate contact, though her nerves were becoming a nuisance again, and filling her with anxiety.

She breathed silently and crossed her arms, holding her elbows as she answered, "A ride would be best."

Her voice was smooth and stable, and her calm tone was lacking the nerves her body found such 'great' company in.

She couldn't stand the chore of talking with people, it was strange and unnerving, but it had to be done-- like most things in life.

"So, we leave now, right?" Jones questioned, but she had no actual desire to wait for response, as she walked forward and brushed past Lance-- her mother following right by her side.

They exited town hall, and Jones leaned against the wall of the building, feeling stable brick and mortar press against her back.

She closed her eyes for a moment, and let out a whooping sigh.

She hoped Curtis could provide her with a car or vehicle that could help them get out-- get to their next stay-- their next temporary home.

She hated staying somewhere for too long, it made her feel uneasy.

Another sigh, and Jones was standing upright again, waiting in front of the door while she forked a nervous hand through her hair in silent wait.
Lance Carter (played by LoveSickCow)

"We could leave now but if you want to try and gather anything, like food, before we leave, do so now."Lance said as he watched them walk by.

He hopped that Curtis knew what he was doing when he sent them the letter. He said he tried to send them to people who could get the job done, and he was not prepared to baby sit anyone, so these two should be able to handle themselves.

"I am going to get my car ready, meet me outside when you are ready."He said while he rolled out a map he had been drawing for a while now. He marked down a spot on it where the location of the camp should be. He rolled it back up and set it in his pack before he stepped outside.

He took himself outside the city hall, back into the bustling community. He gave a brisk sigh as he pulled his hood back up.

He hated these kind of settings. Anyone here could be a mugger or a murderer, and they could just hide in the crowd. And everyone wanted to try and chat to him. It put him on edge, and made him feel like he should always be watching over his shoulder.

He quickly walked over to the mechanics shop, located around the towns wall, where you could drive your car in and out of the gate. He had his car there, being worked on while he was in the city. From what he could tell based off of the information inside the cars cab, this car was a Ford Falcon XB GT coupe from 1973. He was not sure what any of that meant, but he gave it his own nick name, Dark Necessitates, based off of his favorite song from a CD he found from someone called the Red Hot Chili peppers.

His was black, and had a few modifications to it, such as tires meant for off road, a V8 engine that stuck out the hood, pipes coming out the side of the car, and a ramming bar on the front.

"Is it done?"Lance asked as he looked over his car. It only had a bit of a bump on its side.

"We just got it done a moment ago."The short mechanic covered in oil said.

Lance walked around his car carefully examining it, making sure they didnt do anything to it other then fix it. Once he was satisfied he turned back to him and tossed him a CD player, as part of the trade for fixing the car."Alright theirs your half. Thank you."He said before he opened the door to his car and sat inside.

He laid his hand on the wheel and gripped it slightly, happy to be back in Dark Necessities. He took out his key and ignited the engine. The car kicked into life, and the engine gave a powerful roar and the pipes spurted as the engine racked itself into gear.

He shifted the car into reverse and backed out of the city and spun around, kicking up dirt as the car swung to the side, and he drove to the front gate where he waited for the two women, whom have yet to introduce themselves to him, which made him a little uncomfortable with them, as if they where put off by him.

Not like that was anything new.
Jones Monet (played by Hunny_stuff)

Led by her mother, Jones walked through the streets that were crowded by people and vendors who yipped and shouted for "better deals"-- "higher deals!"

Their shouting and whoops of laughter came near to unnerving, as the young woman combed through men and women, trying to reach the gate.

Lance had left to the mechanic shop for his car, and now the women were to await his arrival by the gate.

The raw evening sun was a flame burning down on the city, and Jones wondered how the citizens could be so active in the cooking heat.

The waves of warmth flushed the women with red, and the older woman could see her daughter grow more annoyed the longer they were exposed to it.

That's when Lance returned, manning a sleek black car that sported a faded 'Ford' emblem, and a snarling scourge of an engine that rose out from the hood-- exposed yet powerful.

He reversed and twisted the car with a sharp, yet recklessly skillful, turn of his hands-- jerking the vehicle across the dirt-- grinding its tires into the barren land, and making the engine rev and growl like a prowling beast.

He drove to the gate, and Jones reflexively took a few paces back-- stunned and yet, nothing short of impressed at the car's performance, and Lance's ability to tame such wily and crude power.

Her mother approached the car first and peeked her head into the window with a smile before opening the passenger door and getting in.

Jones could only shake her head at her mother's strange logic, and ability to be so easy-going around strangers.

She came to the car, inspecting it the entire way through, and feeling a strange excitement build in her gut at the thought of being in it. It would be her first time taking a car ride.

"So," Jones started, once she opened the back door to the driver's side.

"Where is this Clearwater Creedence group-", "Cult," her mother corrected, to which Jones revised, "--Cult camped? Do you know their exact whereabouts, uh..."

She paused, not entirely comfortable with casually speaking other's names, but she made herself go on.

"Lance... because the mayor was vague of their location..." She finished lamely, but then she stood up (at least as much as she could) and offered her hand over the shoulder of Lance's seat.

"I'm Jones, by the way. And that's Farrah, my mother."

It had been years since the last time the young woman tried for a handshake, but seeing as how she and the young man would be stuck together for a while at least, she needed to suck up her pride.

The last thing she needed was to be distrusted by her partner and to be distrustful of him.

Not that a handshake could change her worries-- her unease-- but, it could be a start.
Lance Carter (played by LoveSickCow)

Lance smirked a little as Farrah smiled at him. Even though he didnt give a full grin, what he did give seemed genuine

He reached his hand over and gave her a firm and quick hand shake, the crisp leather of his glove made a small clap noise as he made contact.

"Nice to meet you two, its nice to see that some peoples parents still are around to care for their children."He said as he rested his hand back on the wheel."And yes...he was very vague...but on my way here I ran into a camp that was blaring this odd music, and had a few people dancing around inside. I would be willing to bet that was the camp. Seems to fit these peoples description anyways."He said as his voice got quite just a little as he seemed to be thinking for a moment.

He reached into the compartment next to his seat and dug around for a moment, mumbling to himself wondering where the thing he was looking for was until he said,"ah ha" and extracted a knife from the compartment. He raised the knife up and flipped it over in his hand, exposing the bottom of the handle. He twisted the bottom of the handle as if opening a bottle of water, and removed something like a cap from the knife. The knifes handle was hollow, and inside was a few items, like matches, string, fishing hooks, a sewing kit, and the cap at the end of the knife unscrewed, and had a compass on the other side.

Lance twisted the cap back on, with the compass facing outward. He lined up the compass a little and examined it.

" east..."He said as he raised the knife and with a quick and abrupt motion, he stabbed the knife into the dashboard, where he could keep check and make sure he was heading in the right direction.

He took a long breath as he steadied himself at the wheel. He wanted to make sure he offered safe passage. He could often be a reckless driver, sometimes just for the fun of it, but with the lives of others in his car, he wanted to make sure he would drive as steady as he could.

His hand gripped the stick shift as he jolted it into first gear, and sped away from the gate.

The car jumped in place for a second, trying to grip the ground as the tires spun, and kicked up dirt into the guards behind them.

"Hey! You prick!"They shouted at him as they ducked down and shielded themselves from the dirt.

Lance could not help but to smile just a little as he stuck his hand out the window and waved goodbye to them and sped off into the desert.

The car was field with noise, that was oddly comforting, like flowing water, only it was the muffled sound of the roaring engine, and subtle rattling and shaking of the cars components, led to a oddly nice white noise. The desert going by faster then you would ever see while walking, and the car kicked clouds of dirt behind it, and imprinted its tracks in the ground, as if the beast was marking his territory.

"Is there any reason you two are going after these guys? I know he offered a reward but...I know for many people the promise of a reward is not enough to drive someone to do things like this."
Jones Monet (played by Hunny_stuff)

(( Deleted))
Jones Monet (played by Hunny_stuff)

Jones peered out of her dust covered window, gripping the edge of the leather seat with anxious excitement, and feeling both intrigued and wary of everything. As it was in the moment, Lance seemed like a strange man --from the bizarre knife he stored objects in; which now stuck out of his dashboard-- to the sporadic way he maneuvered and tore his car through the dirt: he was rather peculiar. At least, that's how Jones felt of him.

When they finally began moving -tearing up dirt and pelting the guards with chunks of it-- the vehicle jerked with a suddenness as it adjusted itself to a successful gear shift.

The clutch squeaked lowly with release, but it was merely background noise to the rhythmic rumbling of the engine.

For a lasting length of silence, it was only them, the vast desert wastelands, and the clunking rattle of tires riding over rugged roads. The sound of jittering metal was only dulled by the voice of he who was driving.

Jones was roused from her trance.

She didn't even realize she had rested her chin on the door frame --clearly too lost in staring at the passing landscapes to think. She righted herself, sitting up straight and opening her mouth to respond to Lance's curiosity.

"...We want to move on from Crane city, find somewhere new." She started, and her silvery voice was soft with caution.

"The only reason we-- I take these tasks is so we can keep moving, keep living. That reward is going to help us survive, and it's certainly better than the scraps I'm usually given. Honest, if I could, I wouldn't've helped half the people I did," She looked into the rear-view mirror and made contact with green eyes as she went on, "Association gets you killed, or into situations that screw you over because of unwonted attention... In fact, this job right now is exactly what I mean."

She lowered her eyes from the contact while she gave herself a moment to think -to gather her words in practiced sentences before she uttered, "Because I've helped people in the places we pass, the mayor of Crane city thinks I want or can help with his... dilemma."

Her eyebrows furrowed angrily, but she was far from the feeling itself. Rather, they were bunching in contemplation, for this had to be the longest time she had spoken to anyone (other than her mother) willingly.

"If a courier found us, what's stopping anyone else...?"

She spoke those words with sudden infliction-- the complete realization of her and Farrah's situation and the possible dangers of it coming to her all at once.

Her eyes dove to the carpeted floor, and her mouth went dry the more she thought of it.

Her scarred hands clasped each other with a sudden, insistent, yearning --already clammy with perspiration as she grimly wished she had just ignored Lance; then maybe, she wouldn't be plagued by the truth of her reality-- not yet at least. She even began to childishly wish she hadn't thought of her situation at all; as if ignoring the issue would resolve it; as if being ignorant would protect her -protect her mother.

Her hand ran through her hair, pushing the dark coils back and repeating the motion: once, twice, three times... more than she should have, more than what was normal, acceptable.

It was strange; but truly, it was just a poor habit gone completely neurotic; an obsessive, compulsive tic, and way to subsist is what it was. And she felt strange for it. Like she couldn't control it-- like her hand had its own mind with its own deviant agenda.

But she could stop it. When she needed to -she did. And she always needed to.

"You... you're curious of us, but what about you?"

Her fingers passed through her hair once more, and her nails scratched the skin of her scalp before she forced it away-- shoving it into her pants pocket and willing herself not to bring it out until her nerves had settled.

Even without turning her head, Jones could see the outlines of crumpled buildings and charred build-boards from the frame of her window, and she knew they were near entering new territory. Even though it hadn't been long since they'd left the city, the car had traveled far, putting miles and miles of barren land between them and Crane city, and bringing them ever closer to Clearwater Creedence.

Jones ignored the bumpiness of the ride -how it shook the vehicle and made its passengers sway. She even cared little of how the outside landscape became a blurred mesh of brown, and how failed to capture her eye like before.

She was concentrating on not thinking as she waited for Lance's reply-- waited for a better place to worry and fret, because she knew that here and now was not the time.

With a flickering gaze, she elaborated on her previous question, "Why do you do these things? Why'd you take this job?"
Lance Carter (played by LoveSickCow)

"I do these things because I want to...and I can." He said in contrast to what she had said before."I have been doing stuff like this for a long time now. I...guess I have a compulsive urge to help people. My parents where good people, and it would be a shame if their son did not carry the same torch. But the more I wander around the more I realize that maybe no body is worth you said, association gets you killed, or into situations that screw you over because of unwanted attention...yet here I am...despite telling myself to look out only for myself, I am being someone else's white knight again."He said with a groan.

At some point it started to seem like he was talking to himself, and not to her, like his mind was trailing off, his voice becoming more distant, before it found its place back to him, and he began to remember he was not the only one in the car."I used to read these books I found...they where called westerns. My father would tell how, there was an ancient time where the world was much like today. Desert, run down towns, and barley any form of law. Bandits ran around wild, shooting their guns in the air and robbing people. But there was always someone called a cowboy, a vigilante who took matters into his hand, and he would ride to town to town, saving folks, and lending a helping hand, and then moving on to the next people who needed help in the never ending land of sin."He said.

His eyes grew distant on the path before them, his expression was hard to match, something like a melancholy look as he remembered nostalgic memories."I guess I always wanted to be a cowboy."He gave himself a chuckle and sighed."I have been chasing this cult for a while now...I have already got my self a bit of a bad reputation with them...I have come to terms that I am probably going to die with a gun in my hand, so I thought maybe I could take down as many as these guys with me before I go. Hell, if my luck has not run out yet, maybe I stand a chance on stopping them...heh...dont ever be like me...keep moving and keep living..."He said with a light tone, yet he carried the subject heavily.

His hand swayed over the shift and his foot pressed down on the clutch and started shifting down the gears before coming to a stop. Before them was a hanging cliff, overlooking the vast land before them."This cliff is a good vantage point for the camp...should be able to spy on them a bit while we come up with a plan on how we are going to do this."
Jones Monet (played by Hunny_stuff)


The old world was filled with countless oddities, wasn't it?

And yet, as Lance's tone dimmed and lightened the more he spoke, the more Jones felt that there was a chasm between them. Not formed by any actions they made or words they spoke, but simply in the way they perceived the world.

She loved her mother, and Farrah was good to her too, but there was never a day of rest for her, even as a child. There was never a time --never an opportunity where she could sit and play, or laugh and be silly, or be filled with peace as she let her mind wander -- never, not even once.

She wondered how it felt to have both parents, or what it was like to read a 'Western', and thought of these things all while the car slowed and came to a stop.

'Don't ever be like me...keep moving,' she could hear Lance say, and Jones flattened her eyebrows, but decided not to say anything.

Really, she had nothing to say at all, her mind was still so busy with everything else.

When Lance pointed out that this cliff would be their vantage point, the young woman forced all other thoughts away, no matter how heavy they felt. She had to focus completely on what she was about to do. Stupid mistakes would not be forgiven easily, nor taken lightly, and she had no desire to lose her nerve in a pinch.

She opened her door, cracking it just enough to poke her legs out and stretch them.

Her eyes spied on the two seated in the front, and she mentally shook herself to prep her mind for the upcoming combat.

"Mum," she called. She pushed the door open completely with her foot and stood when her mother looked back at her, expectantly. She rounded the car, and her mother had already cracked the door for her to pull back.

Jones peeked inside the darkened cab, looking at both passangers for a moment before mumbling, "I'll need the pack," and picking up the bulky, dirty beige bag, and leaning it against the threshold frame of the vehicle. The bag, which was plenty of years old and full of mothholes, held she and her mother's most essential means of survival.

Whatever they could get their hands on, they saved it, rationed everything in order to make it to their next distress call --their next reward.

She flipped the flap cover off, snapping the button up, before digging her hand into its depths until she retrieved what she wanted. A hand-crafted knife made from the broken half of a kitchen blade and a slim block of wood, held together by several tight and laced knots from a thin, wiry, twine. It looked weak and tacky, being only two inches taller than the length of her hand.

But to the shock of her opponents --and even herself at times-- the weapon had saved Jones's skin on more than one occasion --holding out and enduring her often unorthodox style of attacks.

Not that she had killed anyone, but sometimes, there was no time to think.

Putting the shiv into her waistband, Jones snuck a piece of bread from inside a napkin out of the pack, popping the morsel into her mouth just before returning the bag at her mother's feet.

She crunched the crusty bread and swallowed it with a newly dried mouth.

"Stay here, mum." Jones spoke, and her mother gave her a look.

"You're leaving me here?" The older woman, only fourty-seven years, sounded shocked and faintly offended.

"You know you shouldn't go..."

"Hasn't stopped me before."

Jones sighed harshly, "Don't be stupid, this task isn't something you should risk you health on." "And yet, here you are leaving to do it," Farrah retorted, shifting to stand up.

Immediately Jones panicked, holding her mother down in the seat to keep her from moving. They looked at each other, "Don't move..." Jones commanded, but her voice was lacking the firmness it should have, and rather, it was more like a plea.

"I don't want you hurt, otherwise how can we keep moving?"

Farrah rolled her eyes, seeming more childish than her own kid as she gave a soft smile, though Jones could see the concern in her eyes. "Come back soon," Farrah said, and her daughter really knew those word meant, 'Dont get killed.'

She closed the door, and made her round to Lance --standing in front of him with her hands consiously tucked into her pants pockets as she questioned, "This cult," she wandered just a bit as she spoke, trying to near the edge, "I was told it was the least violent of some others..."

Her gaze turned from him and to the land below, spying for the camp just as the sun began to shift overhead, signalling that noon was nearing and it would be dark soon.

"Is that true...? and how exactly can we plan against them?" She scanned the area below with great intent, "The cover of night is plenty good for stealth attacks... I'm not the best at them, personally..."
Lance Carter (played by LoveSickCow)

"This cult is the least violent...but they are not beyond it..."He said as he reached around his back and grabbed a pair of binoculars."And trust me...I am no stealthy man I dont know if that will be our route..."He said as he started scanning the area.

The camp was a scarp metal wall laced with barbwire, surrounding a run down gas station on the side of a road. The men inside where all wearing some kind of suited armor, made out of padded leather, and car tires. For people that where low on violence, they sure seemed to be armed well."I know one thing about you can use their kindness to your advantage...if you walk in there telling them you want to join, they will open their arms and praise their dead gods..."He said with a huff. He watched as some men walked to the gas pumps and started to pour some of the gas into canisters and haul them off."Interesting...their gas lines still work..."He mumbled as his eyes shifted to the center of the camp

There he saw a man, looking like a priest. He was walking back and forth, saying some kind of message as the song Have You Ever Seen The Rain played loudly on some speakers.(

"You can hear the words plain as day! Someone told me long ago There's a calm before the storm, I know it's been comin' for some time. When it's over so they say, It'll rain a sunny day, I know shinin' down like water! This prophet speaks of a calm, the calm that has long past us! And before that calm there is a storm! And ladies and gentlemen, we are in a storm today!"He said as everyone in the crowd before him gave an amen."A storm caused by the sins of this land! A storm, neigh, a WAR! And once this war is done it will rain, not the rain that bears water and heavy clouds, but rain that brings sunshine and glory to the chosen people. Crops will grow, the land will be restored, and we shall harvest the fruits of our labor."He said as he stepped behind a few people tied up in front him.

They where stripped of their clothing, and had rags tied over their eyes, and their mouths, and in their backs the haunting image of the word sinner was carved with a knife into their flesh."I want to know have you ever seen the rain...the glory...the faith, of a land made anew, from the atonement of ones sin."He said as to one of the men in front of him. The man struggled from his bonds in some vain attempt to get free, and his voice could be heard giving a muffled shout through his rags.

"And for a man who has gone to far...for a man who has rejected the calling of the clearwater revival...the only atonement, is blood."The man said as he pulled a gun from his pocket. It was poorly made from steel pipes and crude steel, but it was a gun none the less, that fired fine, and could kill none the less.

The man struggled some more, his screaming become more and more desperate."Worry not child...for your life of pity and sin will be happy, and hopeful, that you are taken away from this land, and you see a sunny day."He said as he pressed the barrel on the back of his head.

"No...NO!"Lance said with a restrained shout as his body jerked up a bit.

From where they where the echo of a gunshot pressed against the ears, followed by a crowed cheering, and singing their songs.

"Those...bastards..."He grumbled."I have an idea...but its a little out there..."He said as he got up to his knee."But well deserved for them..."

He pointed to the gas pumps."Those pumps are still full of gas...and I have a few things that might make that go boom...simply put."He said as he scanned the area more."I will go in, and cause a diversion...and by diversion I mean I may pick a fight with them...while I am doing that, you can plant these explosives I got on the tanks, these explosives are...well its these boxes full of gunpowder youll see...all you would have to do is set it next to the pump, and lead a trail of gasoline from the box, to a safe location. Then you can light the gas, which will ignite the gunpowder, and hopefully blow these people sky high...but of course...I need to get out of there first..."He said as he tried to wrap his head around the idea."What do you think? Sounds stupid, or dumb?"He asked with a subtle smirk.
Jones Monet (played by Hunny_stuff)

Jones couldn't understand anything from below, let alone see it, but she could hear a strange song echo through the valley the camp resided in, and a chilling shot of a gun.

Based off of Lance's reaction of horror, and then complete anger, she could guess that whatever he witnessed was clearly unpleasant in nature.

And from the way he explained his plan --how he seeked to blow this cult to hell-- there was an anxiousness that ran through the young woman's stomach. She wouldn't let it hold her back.

"This sounds stupid," she gave the best attempt she could at a smile, but like always, her nerves messed with it-- warped it into what looked like a confused grimace.

"But it looks like there's a lot more people than I thought. Picking everyone off one by one is.... unideal."

She inhaled, steadied her body, mind, and will as she said, "let's finish this."

She looked at Lance, "I'll do it, but you better make yourself one damn good distraction. I don't want to get killed,"

She looked back at the cult, her brows furrowed curiously.

"Not before I get started..."
Lance Carter (played by LoveSickCow)

"Oh Ill make myself a good distraction..."He said as he walked over to his car and popped the trunk.

He reached in and grabbed a couple of things he would need, a baseball bat with nuts and bolts twisted in to increase the lethality. Next he pulled out a few lunch boxes covered in duct tape."Thats gonna be the explosives..."He said as he laid them on the ground.

He pulled out one last thing, a rugged sawn off shotgun. It was not in the best condition, and ammo for it was scarce, but if needed, it will get the job done just fine.

He raised an eyebrow and glanced at her as she said "before I get started" Wondering what she was about to do.

Lance himself, was ready to take these guys on, but he would be patient for her.
Lance Carter (played by LoveSickCow)

His eyes glanced back to the camp

"Those bastards just killed a man in cold blood...I dont know why. They usually dont do this sorta thing...maybe the other cults are rubbing off on them..."He grumbled.

It wasnt fun watching a man die in the same fashion he watched his own parents die. His fist clenched, wrinkling his leather gloves.

He squinted his eyes a little and his face turned into a grimace for a moment."This place is already messed up enough as is without them...are you almost ready Jones?"He asked with a turn of his head
Jones Monet (played by Hunny_stuff)

Jones's only response was a heavy nod of her head, for her mind was simply too busy with its thoughts in the moment.

The cult had killed a man. And for what reason? A stupid song from some ancient disk?

Her face hardened.

The cultists appearantly weren't as faithful in pacifism as everyone made them out to be-- no, they were just as bad as the rest-- only that they hid themselves behind a thicker veil of fake integrity.

Jones let her eyes fall on the makeshift explosives on the ground, eyeing each of them with thought and caution. She bent and took all four of them, slipping the handles of two over the fingers of each hand.

To think, the rusted tin pails which were once decorated by children's cartoons, would become their best chance of ending this cult's reign. She just hoped the damn things wouldn't blow her arms off in the process.

She glanced at Lance, taking in his interesting arsenal of worn weapons before announcing, "I'm ready..." She paused for a second, shifting the hefty explosives gingerly, "Let's get this done, I need to be back quick." She finished with all seriousness.

She couldn't let her mother's wish fall on deaf ears-- they needed to return as soon as possible, and as uninjured as a situation like this would let them. She needed those rewards from the mayor, so consequently, that meant she needed to live through the missions first.

Letting those be her final thoughts, Jones began what would be the start of their very first task. She moved her head in the direction that she started walking toward, which guided to a decline that led to the base of the valley.

There was no designated travel pathway for them-- either that or it had all eroded away in the years of war.

That was a small matter, for Jones at least, she had no say for Lance's experience.

But years of wandering place to place, she and her mother had their fair share of climbing and descending, this hill was nothing too difficult.

That never stopped her nerves from raising gooseflesh over her body as she began the descent. She turned her feet, shifting herself to the side as she inched toward the bottom, keeping her arms as straight and unmoving as she could so she wouldn't agitate the bombs.

When she made it to the bottom, she snuck across the open valley and hid behind the remains of a hauling truck, spying on the camp from there.

By the gas station, four patrolmen stood, each stationed at the forecorners of the camp. In front of them -to the west- was the crumpled remnant of the gas station's convience shop. And just behind that-- the gas pumps stood, remaining steadfast unlike their main building.

In order for her to run past and set up the explosives, Jones needed Lance to do his job and to do it well.

She looked back at the top of the hill, and signaled for the man to come down.
Lance Carter (played by LoveSickCow)

Lance watched her go down, in the way she was nervous and cautions, yet fluid with her movements. His eyes gazed down the hill. The path she took was fine, and safe. But he noticed the hill eroded itself as a ramp, and the drop wasnt that far.

In contrast to her careful walk down, he stepped off the incline, as if he was just jumping off.

He planted a foot in the ground bellow him, and gravity took course and sent him sliding off the hill. Lance hopped there was not a rock, or tree branch that he had over looked as he slid down the hill, or else he was about to break a leg.

He had one for forward, and a hand behind him, letting him glide down as dust threw up in his wake. And before too long, he stumbled to his feet at the base of the hill.

He gave himself a moment to breath in relief that his mode of transportation didnt fail him. His eyes shifted up to the gas station before him, looking past the dust cloud he made fluttering in the wind.

He saw some movement from the men posted outside, and Lance knew he had done exactly what he sought to do, grab their attention.

The men outside the camp all rushed inside after seeing Lance scurry down the hill, and no doubt was telling everyone that someone was coming

Lance seemed a odd bit calm about the situation as he began to walk to the gas station, kicking dust off of him as he made it to the gate. He twirled his bat a few times before resting it over his shoulder, and his waltz gave him a air of cockiness as he approached the gate.

"STOP!"One of the guards shouted at him. The same guard began to approach him, a machete in hand, wielding it in a alert position.

"What the hell happened to you guys...I remember you all being so much more passive..."He scuffed as he walked closer to the guard.

The guard backed away and raised his knife a little higher."I SAID STOP!"He shouted at him with his voice quivering just a little.

"Or else what? Youre gonna sing to me?"He asked him with a slight chuckle.

"Lance Carter...."The priest who had killed the man from before said with a sly voice. He walked to the left side of the stage and stared him down. The priest had a long growing beard, and a kind looking face. He wore a heavy jacket, complete with a satchel, and a skull cap with a logo from a Mervedes-Benz stitched into it. In fact you could see that logo all over the place, he had the same logo on his satchel, and around the camp you could see banners and flags sporting the logo, as if they took the emblem of by gone car manufacturer, and made it their holy symbol. Nothing about this priest seemed threatening, but after his act of killing the man, that now laid in a mass of blood at his feet, it is apparent that a book should never be read by its cover.

The priest smiled at him, his creeping grin looked like a attempt of being warm, but only came across with a chilling effect."Are you here to try and chase us off again? You should know by now, no matter what harm you wish to cause this credence, we will always be back, and we will always be stronger. You are but one single drop of water in the storm...the sun will dry you out soon enough."He said, his voice sounding like a distant whisper.

"No Samuel...I came to join."Lance said with hesitation. His face winced a little as he had to push those words through his teeth, he could only hope they didnt notice.

Samuel's eyes widened a little."You...wish to join us? What a splendid thing to here from the likes of you, Lance! Ha ha! We could always use, a warrior such as yourself in our humble family...bring the child to me."Samuel said, his voice was still a distant whisper, but he sounded cheerful.

The people in the camp seem to have their suspensions, but they did not want to upset Samuel, so two of them laid a hand on Lances shoulder and led him to the stage.

It took every fiber of his being to not fight the two men who laid hands on him as he made his journey to the stage."The great Fortunate sons, have brought your mind to the right path, and on this day, you shall forage your life anew, and begin this holy walk with us...I am more then happy to say this for you dear child...once one of our enemies, now our very own!"He said with joy.

As he finished his sentence one of his men slapped a disk into the record player and their "holy" song Fortunate Son started playing through a set of loud speakers (

Lance laid a hand on Samuel's shoulder and looked at him with a smile."Samuel...You know, you talk a lot of shit, but you never brush your teeth."He said with sarcasm. Samuel made a confused expression as he was about to say something, before Lance pulled his head back, and sent his skull careening into Samuel's. A loud crack was heard from the collision as Samuel stumbled back a little, and fell to the floor. Lance stumbled a little and shook his head, trying to get his sight back after just smashed his head into someone elses. It left him a little disorientated, but what can he say, it seemed like a cool thing to do. He blinked a few times and looked back to the people before him, below the stage."Really? Thats your damn leader?"He said holding back a laugh. Before he knew it, everyone was starting to climb to the stage, shouting angry curses at him and shouting about how their god would smite him, all the while the music kept playing."There we go...."Lance said, satisfied that he managed a good distraction

He raised his bat from his back and swung it into the skull of the first man to get close enough to him, a defiant crushing of wood and bone crumbled into the ears close enough to hear it, and after the first victim, more flooded to him. Lance swung his bat here and there, hitting as man as he could, breaking limbs and joints along the way. He was in a proper fight now, and he could not keep his crowd control like this for too long, hopefully Jones would be quick while his distraction was still working. His face grew more and more stern and a little worried, as he started to become a bit over ran, his defense with the bat was starting to falter and it wouldn't be long before someone slipped by one of his swings.

"That all you got? You...religious pukes!"He shouted at them, his voice getting a little more strained along with his body with each swing.

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