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Black Cotton ( ACCEPTING )



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Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:54 pm
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DivinePrincess says...



sur·viv·al
sərˈvīvəl
noun
the state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstances.


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BACKGROUND:

Spoiler! :
In 2064, scientists continued to work on vaccines that potentially could prevent cancer or cancerous tumors. They continued to work, only to form a dangerous and almost deathly drug that could kill bacteria within an instant. They kept the drug in a large vault, where they invested in money to continue the research on this drug and its effects on plants, animals, and humans.

Furthermore, within the next year, they started testing. They began the testing with plants, only to find out the plants stopped photosynthesis and died within about two weeks. The scientists then tested animals. This effect was different. The animals almost become rabid, trying to kill anything in their path. Many animals had to be put down or killed to contain them. Eventually, under illegal circumstances, they tested the drug on a man. The man eventually contracted a huge virus that started out at the flu, and soon led to the rotting of the skin, rabid behavior, and eventually death.
Little did they know, the virus became lethal and almost immediately contagious.

Nobody found out about the man, or the drug. The myth is that they hid the body underground. As time passed, the scientists started feeling the symptoms of the virus and ended up killing themselves before they could feel the worst of it all. It was too late though, the virus was already spreading around the world and therefore, the population began to drop drastically until there was barely anybody left.

Bamboo is the only one known cure for this virus and is only found in discrete areas of the world. It's a plant that only grows in certain countries like Asia, where the virus is not located. This eases the pain of the virus and can indefinitely, after time, cure a person back to health.

There is no known name for the virus. The people that are left call the virus “Black Cotton”, because one of the first symptoms is cottonmouth.

The symptoms of “Black Cotton” are hard to distinguish, but once discovered become deadly:

- Dry mouth or "cottonmouth"
- Rotten odor
- Headaches/ nausea
- Desire to kill
- Major drop of body temperature
- Sensitivity to light
- Dilated Pupils
- Rotting flesh
- Paranoia



It's 2068. You and a group of friends are the last people left, or so you think. Ever since everything went downhill, it seems as though humanity is completely lost. The town you stay in resides near a long forest and mountain range. Plants are slowly dying and the food sources are decreasing as time goes on. Corpses lay on the sidewalk, as cars stay parked on the sidewalks-- deserted for weeks on end.

Who can you trust?

You stay in an abandoned apartment building downtown. You sanitize everyday, deeply. The virus continues to spread. Your family has died off one by one, so you and your group of close friends made a pact to always stay clean and careful even though the world around you is infected.

Will you go insane, or will your friends become your new sense of sanity? Let's test your characters patience.

Please check into the discussion topic if you are interested in joining, or just simply submit a character profile! I'd like to have an even amount of boys and girls.

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Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:57 pm
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DivinePrincess says...



Rebekah "RJ"


Two weeks ago the news was still running. I would flip the channel in our tiny apartment every morning, and then one day it just stopped. I’m guessing there was no one left to film it, or maybe they just gave up because nobody was watching it. Overall though, I know that we’re the last ones left in this city.

My eyes land on the radio to the left of my air mattress, and I sigh when I hear nothing. There’s a channel all the way in LA that has music, but I can barely hear it and it just sounds like fuzzy music and old people singing. I turn it off quickly as possible as Adriana enters the room, looking as angry as she always does.

“Good morning sunshine,” I smirk as she glares at me.

“Don’t even start with the jokes this morning, I’m not in the mood, RJ.”

I throw my hands back and look around as if a police officer just told me my Miranda Rights, “Okay, okay. My bad.”

My birthday is coming up. Two days away and I still haven’t decided what I’m going to do for it. I mean, what could I possibly do? We barely leave the apartment and when we do we don’t go far in fear of getting the disease. The most we ever do here is play cards—and even then touching the same thing over and over again is sketchy.

I move out into the living room and make eye contact with everyone else, “Good morning,” I make my way to the kitchen; Bo already making some toast in the toaster.
He nudges me with his elbow playfully, “Any news? They said the storm is coming by Thursday. Should we move out or stay in?”

I glance at him and steal one of his pieces of toast, “No. The news was gone about two weeks ago. The outlets stopped working yesterday so I couldn’t charge my phone. The only way to tell is to watch the sky ourselves.”

Bo stops buttering his toast and looks at me, “Watch the sky?”

“What else are we supposed to do?” I look back at him, “Unless you have a better idea.”

We look at each other for a few more seconds before he shrugs, “Yeah. We’ll watch the sky.”

I nudge him like he nudged me and flash a quick smile before heading back into the living room, where everyone else sits, playing cards. I sit down next to Aaron and watch them play while eating my toast.

They call me the pretty girl of the group. The one who always makes people laugh and can never make a serious face. The mom of the group, the sister of the group.

Especially with Adriana mad all the time or always trying to fight someone whenever she gets pissed off, it comes in handy for me to be here. I’m the only one she really gets along with.

Bo and I get along very well. We make sure everything runs smoothly while everyone else feels comfortable. I don’t have an enemy, in this time of crisis having problems with people could just start even more problems and we need each other right now.

I glance out the window at the deserted streets and bite into my toast, wondering why we were the only ones who were smart enough to get together and survive.
  





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Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:02 pm
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XxXTheSwordsmanXxX says...



Aaron Marshall


Jumping up from his section of the floor his heart racing and breath labored. He could still feel the heat from the fire of his nightmare. Getting up from the small pile of mats and blankets he paused a moment as he saw his reflection in the mirror across the living room. Scarring over his left side was a terrible eye sore. But certainly not the worst thing that he has seen recently.

Pulling on a t-shirt he sighed as he looked out the window. The sun hadn't come up yet. It was normal. He was usually up before everyone else, followed closely by Adrianna. Even with them being flat mates, the former military woman and the scarred programmer, they hardly spoke to one another.

Aaron had his usual ration of oatmeal with nothing in it so that others would have the opportunity to have something sweet with their breakfast. With the nearest grocery store more than ten blocks away, any luxuries were few and far between.

Staring out the window the one thing he really wanted to do was just open it and let the air in. Just for a little while. But it was a rule for all of them. As little contact with the outside as possible. As little risk to ourselves and the group as we can manage.

The days just drone on it seemed. RJ, as she liked to be called, still listened to the broadcasts for information. Aaron knew that it was useless. Any help wouldn't be extended to those that were out of range, and not to a bunch of regular civilians. But it kept her busy. It was the only thing that anyone could hope for in these times.

Aaron wasn't sure who brought up the idea to play cards for cleaning duties today. But it seemed like a fine way to pass the time. Of course, Aaron was hard to read with the scarring on his face, he already had a good lead on the others at the table. With Bo in the kitchen and Adrianna taking watch that just left himself and the two medics of the group.

There was the more robust surgeon, Dan, and then there was the nervous Lily. The fact that the little group had two individuals with a good amount of medical training made them very well off. Between the two of them they were able to ensure that everyone remained healthy...for the most part. The minimal exposure quarantine had been their idea and they gave us general guidelines to follow with cleaning up.

"I got three of a kind," Lily said, to the exasperation of Dan who just got latrine cleaning for today.

"Not bad there, flower," Aaron smirked as RJ came and sat near him. "But...I'm afraid you will be doing dishes tonight. Full house, Eights over threes."

"Damn it!" Lily huffed throwing her cards at Aaron playfully. "I hate playing cards with you."

Aaron chuckled as he collected the cards together to deal out the next hand.

"Uhh...guys. We have a problem," Bo said from the kitchen. Everyone turned to the well built man standing at the sink. He slowly opened the cold valve to the fullest...and nothing happened. Then he opened the hot and got the same thing. "Looks like the water pumps finally gave out."

Aaron stood and hurried to the bathroom opening up the bath faucet to the same result. "Bo's right. Water's out," Aaron confirmed as people looked to one another with worry.

"We won't survive long without clean water to drink," Lily said. It was something we all knew but it needed to be voiced.

"I'm going to the roof," Aaron said as he grabbed a large sheet to take with him.

"What are you gonna do on the roof?" Dan asked.

"I'm gonna get us water. Adrianna, I need as much charcoal as you can find. No ashes, I need the burnt wood itself. Briquettes will do if necessary. I've seen a lot of barbecues on the balconies so there should be a good supply of them. Take Bo with you and get them to the roof.

Dan, I need you to take a knife and get the entire length of the fire hose from the hallway on this level and the lower level. Lily and RJ you come with me."

Everyone nodded and headed out. This was how it was. Someone had a plan and the rest of us trusted that they knew what they were doing. No leaders. Just the one that knew what to do would just...step up.

At the roof, Aaron got the first breath of outside air that day. It was filled with that faint smoke. He wondered if the fires were still going in the streets. But they didn't have time for this. He headed to the object of his idea. The water tower. Thankfully there was a spout on it that they would just need to rig up to fit the hose that Dan was bringing.

Nearby it was the next piece that he needed. The plastic drums that had been used to bring up the pea gravel for the roof. The three of them got them rolled over to the side of the building where their windows were at. Didn't take long for Dan to come back with the hoses followed by Bo and Adrianna with the charcoal.

"Getting ready for an old fashion barbecue?" Bo asked with a smirk.

"I'm making a water filter," Aaron said as he took one tub and began cutting a hole to attach the hose. "Plan is to rig these barrels to filter the water and hold it until we open the nozzle of the fire hose and have it let out exactly how much we want. We will have to fill the top barrel with the water on a regular basis but...it should get rid of any contaminates."

"Where the hell did you learn this?" Adrianna asked.

"Bear Grylls," Aaron admitted. "This will take a little bit to get rigged up if everyone wants to head back down. I'll stay up here and get this dealt with as fast as I can."

Aaron got to work with a hand saw as the sun was beating down on the roof top. Focused on his work he didn't realize that Bo had remained behind with him.

"Dang," Bo laughed, taking a seat beside him. "It's been a while since I've thought about Bear Grylls. Did you like his show? Or was it shows. Man vs. Wild was one, right?"

Aaron jumped when he heard Bo's booming voice behind him. Letting his heart settle down he chuckled. "Yeah man vs. wild was one. Only one I really watched. Mainly read the books. Lots of survival stuff in there. Of course, those were all about surviving out in the wilderness. Nothing like this." He motioned to the practically dead city. Normally there would be car horns and sirens going on. Instead there was silence. A dead, deafening silence.

"Wait, there were books?" Bo asked, surprised. "I didn't even know that. If I did I probably would've devoured them as soon as I found them. I couldn't stop reading as a kid. It was like an addiction, really. But it was better that than any of the other things that were offered to me."

"Can't imagine a muscle head like you being a book worm," Aaron chuckled as he got the sheet stretched through the first barrel and began crushing the briquettes into smaller chunks.

Bo laughed. "I think everyone else in my life was surprised too. Though, to be fair, I was a real scrawny kid, so maybe then I fit the profile. I didn't start putting on muscle 'til my teens."

"Some of us are blessed that way I guess," he said beginning to fill up the layers of the filter for use. Setting the other barrel to catch the water and making a spout for the hose to use. "Personally, I didn't really excel in anything. Got into coding after high school."

"Oh, coding? What kind of stuff did you like to code?"

Aaron paused a moment before getting the seal seated properly. "I was working on a program that would detect electrical fires before it becomes too late to escape the house. I was gonna try to make them mandatory in all future housing developments."

"Wow, that's really awesome. Here I was with my mind going straight to like, video games. But something like that, that really means something."

Aaron lowered the hose down over the side of the building near their windows before he stood up. "Doesn't mean jack now," he said heading to the tower with the other hose. "World's gone to hell. Not much a programmer can do if they don't have any other skills to them."

Bo nodded slowly, giving a mouth shrug of understanding. "I mean, I guess all I meant by that was that it's noble of you, in a sense. You wanted to make something so that what happened to you wouldn't happen to other people. And that says something about your character that still matters even though the world's the way it is now. All bleak and all."

Aaron shrugs as he got the fitting climbing up to the bucket he opened the value of the fire house and the water came rushing out. "Some people run from their demons...others find ways of keeping the demons at bay," he said as he watched the water from the first barrel start filling up and trickle out of the spout to the second barrel.

Bo stood up, watching beside Aaron as the water began to flow. "And then there are the people who face them head on, and usually get pretty scratched up in the process." He pointed to the scar on his face with a small grin. "Like me."

"What get that from a Chihuahua?" Aaron smirked.

Bo laughed. "I wish. But no. Motorcycle accident. Was fleeing some not-so-nice people who had more beef with my father than they did with me, but you know how it gets with gangs and stuff. Everything's more personal than anyone wants to admit."

"Actually I don't know about that stuff," Aaron said shutting off the hose to the filter barrel. "Alright. Let's head back. Pray that this works." Heading down the stairs to the apartment he opened the window and looped the hose inside and got out a bowl.

"How do you know it will be clean?" Lily asked.

"You can taste it generally," Aaron said, as if he really knew. Opening the valve he let the water splash into the bowl. "At least the hose system works." Taking a drink of the water he gave a nod. "Tastes clean to me." He offered the bowl to anyone else that wanted to try.

"I'll try it, I guess," Bo said, taking the bowl and sipping it. After a second of pondering, he shrugged. "Hm. It tastes fine to me."

"Water will have to be rationed like the food now. And we're gonna need an alternative for bathing," Dan stated.

"We'll just have to share baths," Aaron remarked. "Poker for who goes first tomorrow."
  





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Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:03 am
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soundofmind says...



Andrei (Bo) Petrov


Bo tried not to think to long upon the practical longevity of their stay in the apartments, but when the water went out he was hit with the very real reminder that they truly were on their own. He was glad that others in their small group had skills and knowledge that he didn't to collectively pool so they could make do, but at the same time, he wasn't sure when that wouldn't be enough. Water was their biggest necessity next to food, hygiene products, and disinfectant. How long would rain water last them? What would happen if they needed to move for some reason?

Bo stopped his thoughts abruptly at the chance of them having to change their home base. That was too many hypotheticals and not enough of what he really needed to worry about. With a shake of his head, he got up from the couch in the living room and entered the kitchen, where RJ stood with the cabinets open, writing down a list on a pad.

"We're running low again, aren't we?" He asked.

RJ looked up at Bo and then glanced back at the pad, "Yeah... I expected this to happen, we've been eating the same food for three weeks."

Bo walked up, looking down at the list. "It's too bad we can't just bring the whole store back with us, huh."

"I mean, people could mistake you for the incredible Hulk because of how big you are," RJ smiled, trying to lighten the mood.

"That plus me carrying a whole building on my back? Yeah, we don't wanna scare people."

RJ shook her head and went through the cabinets again one last time before looking back at Bo, hesitantly closing the pad of paper and shoving it in the pocket of her sweatshirt, "You coming this time?"

"Of course," Bo said with a nod of his head.

"I'm going to get my boots on... Don't forget to sanitize before we leave because the storm is coming soon and I'm not taking any chances," RJ left the kitchen and made her way to the hallway.

Bo nodded again, following behind her as they made their way to their room - which was essentially split in two. RJ's bed took up the left corner of the room, and Bo's bed sat in the right corner. Since they'd all made their homes here in a rush, with not much more than what they could carry on their backs, the room was sparse and poorly furnished. Most of Bo's clothes were folded in neat piles at the foot of his bed, and the few books he had were stacked by his pillow.

Reading was his main escape.

Bo plopped down on his too-short-for-his-height mattress and grabbed his hoodie, and pulled it over his head. Then went on the socks, the boots, and the persistent washing of his hands, arms, and face. Then the sanitary gloves, and the mask pulled over the face, stopping just below the eyes. Or in his case, eye. Then, he slung his big, backpacker-style backpack over his shoulders and stood up. As he turned to RJ, they locked eyes, seeing that both of them were geared up and ready.

"Wellp, off we go." He said, leading the way out the door.

"Right behind you," RJ chirped, following right behind him.

As the two marched off to the front door, Lily, Dan, and Adriana watched them from the living room.

"Stay safe out there," Lily cautioned, indicating clearly with her tone that she was worried. Though that was normal for her, it was good to know she cared.

"See if you can get something besides canned beans," Adriana muttered. "If everything there hasn't gone to rot, that is."

Bo simply smiled, laughing a little. "We'll do our best."

"But really," Dan added. "Be careful."

RJ nodded, and Bo pointed at Dan with two finger guns. "We will," they unintentionally said in unison, and right after, looked at each other and giggled. RJ turned around and opened the door, shaking her head, and the two were off.

-<>-


The store was about a block away, but RJ and Bo had been fortunate to not run in to anything, or anyone on the walk there.

The trip there was always somewhat unsettling, seeing the city they once knew to be full of life and activity so dead and quiet. It wasn't even that there was rubble, or anything to indicate that such a devastating thing had wiped out so much of their population. Everything was still there. It was just that now, it was uninhabited. Abandoned. Empty. But the troubling nature of the environment was almost all but forgotten when Bo and RJ walked and talked together under the tall city buildings and the now, overcast sky.

Because they were siblings. Not by blood or on paper, but by the bonding strings of childhood friendship and time-strengthened trust.

Bo looked down at RJ, noting the focused look on her face as they walked the streets. It was a look that he'd become familiar with in their childhood, that he noticed resurfacing more and more in the present. He knew that, in part, it was because of the state of their world, and the pressures of survival weighing on their shoulders. But he kept feeling like there was something more going on inside that she wasn't voicing. No, he knew there was.

It had been about a month since it happened.

Before the six of them lived in that apartment, there were seven. Adriana, Lily, Dan, Aaron, Bo, RJ, and RJ's boyfriend. Jarren.

Jarren used to be the one who'd go out with RJ to get the food. That was when he got exposed to the virus. That was when he came back, started showing symptoms, and got sick. They'd quarantined him to a lower level apartment while they scoured the city for the cure, but as the symptoms got worse, they couldn't watch him suffer anymore. Jarren became a danger to himself and to everyone else.

So Bo shot him.

Everyone had come to terms with it. They were running out of time, and Jarren wasn't going to make it. Jarren knew he wasn't going to make it. RJ asked him to put Jarren out of his misery. He'd said yes. No one was there when he pulled the trigger, but he was sure they all heard the shot from the floor above.

And he was sure that they all had mixed feelings. He knew he did.

As the store came in to view, Bo broke the lapse of silence.

"Hey RJ," he came to a stop. "Are you... okay? What's going on?"

RJ nodded before glancing around again, "T-This whole thing... It's just scary, you know?" She stuttered. She pushed her dark brown curls behind her ear and smiled a weak smile, "I think I just miss him."

Bo couldn't see the smile behind her mask, but he didn't have to. "I know," he said softly. "If you just want to like, talk about it. I'll listen."

RJ laughed a little bit, her eyes starting to water as she spoke, "I missed my period. I was supposed to get it last week. When you guys were sleeping I snuck out. And before you can say anything-- Yes I was sanitized. I had no... I didn't know what else to do. I went down to the pharmacy and got a test. I took it. I'm pretty sure I'm a month or so in. I don't know. I can't have a child right now, Bo. I just can't. Not without Jarren."

Bo looked at her with wide eyes. She was pregnant. Normally, he would congratulate someone upon hearing such news. But this was entirely different.

"Oh god, RJ." His words came out before he knew how to say them. "I'm... I'm so sorry. But... we - we'll help you, RJ. In any way we can. And you don't - don't apologize. It's okay. I know this had got to be really hard for you. I mean, would I have appreciated it if you told me, sure! But I totally get it, and like..."

He trailed off as he looked into RJ's tearful eyes, and he sighed - heart wrenching with sadness for her. He didn't have the right words. There were no right words.

He put an arm around her shoulders, and hugged her tight.

"You'll get through this. We'll get through this. Okay?"

RJ weakly hugged back, trying to stifle her tears.

"I just - I don't want to have a child without - He's -" her voice hiccuped as she fought back the crying. There was a long silence as they stood in the street before she finally finished the sentence.

"He's gone."

Bo looked out over her head at the street behind them, letting her cry - or rather, repeatedly try to hold back the tears so she wouldn't fill her face mask with tears and snot.

Jarren was gone. And he was the last one to see him alive.

If only they'd found the antidote even a day sooner...

-<>-


They both walked into the store pretending like they weren't feeling the effects of the emotional hangover following what just occurred. Bo scanned the store with his eyes, to see if it was clear, and from the front, it seemed to be. Bo and RJ both gave each other a nod before they went left, making their way to aisle 9, which had all of the canned foods. It was an aisle in which they were both familiar. Bo routinely took his bag off his back, unzipped the top, and let RJ stack cans of food on the bottom of the bag, filling it up a little over half-way. When Bo slipped the half-full backpack back on, he turned to RJ.

"You wanna grab some bagged stuff?" Bo asked.

"Yeah, next on the list is rice, pasta, and all the nutritional supplements. Vitamins. Blah, blah, blah."

Bo chuckled. "Okay, okay, I'll stop asking you to read off the grocery list."

"Yeah well-" RJ's voice fell silent as the two heard the clattering of something falling echo through the store. RJ froze, and Bo pulled his gun, not willing to risk the possibility of someone hostile (and clumsy) approaching. He looked down at the end of the aisle, and it was then that they saw the figure stumble into view.

It was an old man. Probably in his late fifties, if Bo had to guess. He was unkempt, with his greying, rotting skin stinking up the aisle even from afar. A similarly sick lady followed behind him. If Bo had to guess again, he'd say she was his wife.

"Stay back," Bo barked, pointing the gun at the couple with no real intention of firing, but hoping it would scare them out of coming any closer.

The old man seemed to attempt at mumbling, but between his raw, red tongue, and the rotting flesh around his mouth, nothing intelligible came out. Bo's expression hardened as the couple ever so slowly advanced forward, ignoring his words of caution. It was clear that they were in the very last stages of the disease, and were in too much of a haze to heed his words. For a moment, he wondered if it would be a mercy to just shoot them right there. But then he glanced back at RJ's terror-filled expression and he thought it best not to. That was something more that she didn't need to see. And... he only had so many bullets. He couldn't put every diseased person they ran into out of their misery with a bullet to the head.

"RJ, come with me," he commanded, taking her hand more roughly than intended and pulling her away, if only to shake her out of her shock. He started explaining as they hastily walked away.

"Let's check aisle two to get the rest. If it's clear I want you to grab it all as quickly as possible and throw it into the bag, and then we run out of here. Got it?"

"Y-yes," she muttered as she fell into step with him, taking two steps for his every one, as he walked with long, hurried strides.

As they passed several aisles, Bo noted three people in aisle four, and one in aisle five. He didn't stop to observe how sick they were yet, but he didn't need to look. He had to assume the worst.

They marched into the empty aisle two and Bo flipped his bag around, ready. RJ however, stood there, hands shaking with uncertainty for a moment as she, panicked, searched the shelves for what they needed.

"Rice. Pasta. Vitamins." Bo listed off, reminding her.

"Yeah." RJ gave him a quick nod, before she ran up and down the aisle, piling said things into her arms. Barely able to carry them all without them falling, she hurried over and dropped them all into the bag, letting her arms fall with labored breathing.

Bo zipped up the bag and threw it on his back before grabbing her hand again.

"Let's go," he said, before running with her to the exit, bursting out the revolving door. They kept up the run for a block past the store, before slowing down, both catching their breath.

"We'll have to-" a breath, "-disinfect everything when we get home," Bo heaved.

"It'll-" inhale, "-take so-" exhale, "-freaking long-" inhale, "-to do that," RJ replied.

"Then I guess-" exhale, "-we better hurry back."
"It's all a matter of perspective... everyone is the hero of their own story, and the villain of another's." - James
  








We're all stories in the end.
— 11th Doctor