A New Hope



I roll my eyes at him, but I’m still smiling. He can say all the dorky romantic things he likes and he won’t find me complaining. Its his way of letting me know he cares and that’s just fine. Suddenly the subject changes and I peer through the trees to see what he’s seeing.

“I think you’re right,” I say, the level of my voice dropping a little. Its a precaution that has been more than a little drummed into me over the years. “Come on, let’s check it out,” I say, squwe zing his hand a little tighter as we make our way over to the shed. I try to avoid stepping on any huge twigs or anything but it’s difficult. I really want to know what’s in there, but I can’t help but feel a little unsure about a random she’d in the middle of a wood.




Part of me feels a tiny bit bad for the few people amongst the Chosen who only joined out of necessity, or because their siblings or parents joined up. But my relief about them being taken care of by Ram is so big I could almost kiss the guy.
Just as that thought crossed my mind, Lex shows up, with his charming comment about evil fruitcakes.
I look at Ram for a moment, who’s in a much fitter state then he was months ago.
Quickly I put down Brady on the sand, without waking her up.
“Hey Ram… you know that bug problem we discussed… wanna help me clean up the spot you missed?” I say gesturing from Lex to the Ocean behind us.


It is my fault, I just know it. I push myself up and walk to the fence. "Danni! Im sorry! I didnt know they would do it, I didn’t know that the chosen would make this happen. Im sorry, I didn’t mean for anyone to get hurt. " I say and take a deep breath. I want to run away again, like i did when Trudy blamed me for Brady’s kidnapping, she had been right to blame me. It had been my fault. Let them go, its me your mad with, let Ryan, Zandra, KC and Alice go, let them go, dont punish them for my silly judgement I say as my voice is starting to shake, i feel that i cant hold in the tears any longer. I let my fingers hold the fence as I sink down. "Im sorry Danni, I didn’t want for you to be hurt"



“Finally! Some sense!” I enthuse with a clap of my hands. This certainly saves me a lot of trouble. My personal grievances don’t seem to take much priority in this group. In fact, if I didn’t know better, I might say the Mall Rats don’t like me very much… Huh!

I raise a dubious brow at Lex’s implication, shaking my head in quiet amusement as he walks away. Trust Lex to draw that conclusion. Hmm… Although… I steal a brief glace in Trudy’s direction, eying her up – Eh. Not bad. Pity about the kid. As I watch curiously, she lays the sleeping child down on the sand. What’s she doing?

Trudy speaks and I exchange looks with her, frowning initially but quickly forming a wicked grin as I catch her meaning. Oh, verrry good, Trudy! I think I’m beginning to like this one! “Gladly.” I drawl, rubbing my hands together keenly. “It’d be my pleasure…”

“Oh, Lexy boy…?” I call. He hasn’t made much distance and I quickly catch up to him, my arm extended to tap his shoulder. The moment he turns, I’ll duck behind him and get a hold of his arms – That’s the plan, at least. Impossible to exactly predict his response but, then, what’s life without a little bit of uncertainty? Easier.

@Trudy @Lex


I race after Ram, eager to grab Lex’s legs. He truly has this coming. I mean… with his behaviour he is lucky we didn’t throw him overboard… but Slade had made a good point about that attracting sharks when i suggested it last week…
I nod to Ram, to grab his arms, as I duck down and grab Lex’s feet out from under him, moving towards the ocean.


I go with Ellie and I notice the door has a lock on it and a spyhole type thing. " hmm maybe I should go first!" I say trying to sound braver than I feel “I’ll try the door” I say reading for the handle " locked," I say as I rummage my pocket “aha” I say pulling out a Bobby pin to unlock the door. I hear a click after a few minutes “bingo!” I say as the door falls open.



We arrived the boat and the kids take a moment to get a break. So they sit down and look up at me " i’m hungry" Sammy whispers.
i sign, " i know" i share a look at Ruby which looks tired. " give me a second" i add on before i walk over to find Amber, and a leaving Lex.
" Amber everything is packed and the kids are hungry" i tell her, of course knowing that we all are. " what’s the next step?"



I’m not sure if the fact that my man has a bobby pin in his pocket rather than asking me for one is something I should be worried about. That said he did offer to go in first so he’s at least trying to be brave. He should, however, know that it’s not his bravado or anything that I find attractive. He’s kind and honest and intelligent and if I wanted someone like Lex that’s who I’d have gone after.

The door opens with a click and I look over Jack’s shoulder, there’s no one in there, but there is evidence that some has been recently. There’s a bed, made but clearly used, and a few cans on a shelf, there’s a large container of water on the side and without thinking I fill up my canteen.

“If someone’s been here recently it should be clean,” she reasoned, and taking such a small amount wouldn’t be noticed when they came back. “And at least we know there’s fresh water around here somewhere…” she added with a grin.



I smile as Ellie fills her water bottle “a bed a real bed” I say not really caring and laying down. “Wow I forgot how soft beds are!” I say rolling about like a loon “oh look there’s some tinned peaches.” I say pointing at the shelves “whoever this place belongs to doesn’t like dusting.” I say pointing out the dust on the shelves. Laughing a little.



I can’t help but laugh as he lies down on the bed, all excited about how good it feels. He sees some tinned peaches and she takes a look at the shelves more closely too to see what else is there. Apart from the tinned peaches nothing is especially tempting. He comments about the dust and she nods, but can’t help noticing the clear tracks in said dust that suggested someone had been here recently.

I put the canteen away and decide to join Jack on the bed, lying down next to him. “Damn, this is comfy,” I say with a smile.



Poor Lex. It’s just his bad luck I’m more interested in cultivating a good standing with Trudy than preserving our previous uncertain alliance right now. The lady wants Lex in the water? Well, then he’s going in the water!

“Gotcha!” I crow triumphantly as my plan carries through and I manage to trap Lex’s arms behind his back. “Always watch your back, Lexy…” I snicker over his shoulder, my face close to his ear. “Especially in a strange new place like this… For all we know, there might be unsavoury characters about…”

I wait smugly as Trudy moves to take hold of the man’s lower limbs. If Lex manages to struggle from my grip now, he’ll be dropped headfirst… So, you know – Not really a tragic loss but still inadvisable. “Good on your end…?” I ask Trudy pleasantly. “Away we go!”

@Lex @Trudy


At some point the Techno lady had left. I don’t now when to be exact or anything but I do know that she is no longer standing in front of me staring at me like I was a ghost or something. Maybe it was because I was crazy? Maybe. “Yes, yes, that’s probably it.” I mumble to myself as I go back to picking at my fingernails, ignoring the water. Something in the back of my head is telling me I need to drink the liquid in front of me but whatever is going on in the forefront is stopping me from doing so.


“Told you!” I say moving myself so that I can lean in and I kiss her cheek. “I’ve missed this, just being able to spend time just the two of us” I say taking her hand “we’ll get through all this together” I smile at her whilst stroking her hair from her face



I was walking away, until suddenly I’m grabbed by both Ram and Trudy. “What the…?” I’m really not a fan of being carried around especially by these two. I decide against struggling free to not end up dropped on the sand.

Let me go!" I demand instead, annoyed at the whole situation.

@Ram @Trudy


I can’t help the smile on my face as he kisses me on the cheek. I snuggle into Jack a little more. “Me too,” I confess with a happy sigh. I can’t imagine what it would have been like going through all this without him. I know from experience that I can get a little crazy, especially when I know he’s in danger or something. Worrying in my family has always driven people a little crazy though. I can’t help but hope that things are going to be a little less crazy now that we’ve given up on the city.

“Together sounds good,” I say, shifting into my side so that I can look at him.


Hearing Patsy calling out to me I pause, I knew Patsy had been taken in by Trudy and had fallen under her spell like everyone else. Even I hadn’t known how much of a witch she was, but now I wasn’t under any more illusions. I’d left blame and anger behind when I joined the Techno’s.

Part of me wanted to tell Patsy it wasn’t her fault, that she wasn’t to blame, but the fact was I didn’t want to keep talking to her… to any of them. And if this was Virtual Reality, well I was failing my test epically. Biting my lip until I taste blood I focus on breathing, I needed to start walking again. Needed to get away from the cages and get back to the cabins. Maybe more of the Techno’s would have turned up and someone could tell me what the hell was going on.

Licking my lip to clear away the blood I somehow manage to start walking again, my legs felt slightly shaky so maybe that was another sign this was VR and not actually happening. No, I’d wake up and remove the headset and Zandra would be laughing, telling me that I’d almost fallen for it, and that she couldn’t believe I’d agreed to give them water. Yeah, that felt more like it than this being real.


Lex is slightly heavier then he seems, but my arms are used to carrying around Brady all the time, so they can handle it. The water is joyfully splashing around my feet as we step into the sea. “As you wish” I say with a devilish grin on my face as Lex demands that we let him go. “Ready?” I nod at Ram, giving Lex a little extra swoosh to make him land into slightly deeper water.


I grunt with effort as we stagger to the water with Lex suspended between us. I’ve got a firm grasp on his arms but my legs aren’t used to taking this kind of weight – Pretty easy to forget it wasn’t so long ago that these guys resumed their regular duty of holding my weight – I manage to keep my footing however, and we make it to the shallows.

“Look on the bright side, Lexy…” I say to him in a smug little voice, “None of us have eaten for two days so no need to worry about getting a cramp! Have a nice swim!”

With a wink and a nod back at Trudy to affirm my readiness, we give Lex a hefty swing for good measure and then… release him to the ocean! The moment he leaves our grasp, I flinch away in anticipation of the inevitable splash to follow…


Ah, there it is… Did you hear that? Ker-sploosh! Like music to my ears… – I eagerly turn my eyes back to the sea, keen to witness the results of our labour.

:ocean: @Lex @Trudy :beach_umbrella:


My mind can’t process what is going on quick enough, I’m not used to being picked up and moved against my will. I’m also not used to the weightlessness of being tossed.

Landing hard in the water though hurts, that I feel and the cold water. It takes a split second to catch up with what is going on, but once I do I’m not happy about the situation. **“Real nice guys!”**I yell at them, and drag myself up. “We don’t even have a damn fire!” I mumble, there’s a slight breeze most probably don’t notice, but they are also not soaked to the bone.

I slosh my way back into the shore line and onto dry sand. “We’re moving camp.” I growl and start to walk away, looking off into the tree line. I get back to where the boat landed, but I don’t stop my gaze fixed ahead.

From off the beach under the canopy of the trees it’s humid, I didn’t notice just how humid it was when we went off before, other stuff was on my mind. Of course being alone isn’t helping every rustle from the wind causes me to jerk my head in the direction.

The last time I was in an area like this, alone, was during bootcamp. All sorts of bad memories that one. It’s making me jumpy. More so then normal. I’m actually glad for being soaked from the ocean I’d probably be a sweaty mess at this point if not. I veer my path, heading not to the building we found before but to the unknown, in search of who knows what.

A twig snaps from under my foot. Only it wasn’t a twig. If this was a movie, there would be some dramatic pause with me hovering above the pit before falling into it. But this isn’t a movie and I don’t have time to react before falling into a pit.

I look up guessing I’m a good 4 meters down. “Damn it!” I hit the ground in frustration. It’s spongy with a layer of rotten leaves. I go to stand, but my left leg can’t take my weight, probably broke it during the fall. It doesn’t feel broken, I don’t feel any pain actually nothing from the fall or from Trudy and Ram. Probably shock, I’ll hurt later. Right now I need a rescue.

((OOC: Okay guys there you have it. I thought really hard about this and it’s not something I’m thrilled about doing, but I need to take some leave. I can’t tell you when I’ll be back. Please leave Lex where he is, it’s my full intention to come back for him. I’ll send word to Sabine when I’m ready. Or I’ll send work if I’m putting him up for adoption. I’m not removing myself from the group chat. But I will mute it. I need time away. Lots of time away. If you need something reach out directly. I know if told a few of you what is going on. But I’m also very protective of that information. I don’t mind sharing I’d just rather know who. So if you want/need to know ask ME! Personal peeve of mine. So yeah. That’s it.))


The cage door closed too swiftly for my weakened reflexes to react quickly enough. The sound of the lock clicking felt like yet another blow to my heart. Silently, I watch as Danni turns away, unable to comprehend that this woman was the same person that I used to know. And yet, so much time had passed. There was just no telling what horrors she had been through. Taking a deep breath, I then turn to the reunion taking place within the cage.

God, she’s so beautiful…

She was absolutely stunning. There was simply no denying that. It was immediately apparent exactly what Lex saw in her. It was a face, and figure, suited for a glamorous magazine. You could almost see it - that person of perfection that young women would aspire towards - no - would aspire to be. Someone loved and adored.

I turn, wiping a hand through my sun-damaged hair and shaking some sand free from it. Did I seriously used to think that I could have competed with a memory of her? What was I thinking? But back then, I was younger, and more naive perhaps. How foolish had I been?

But that was all in the past, it was time to face what was happening now.

“Zandra,” I say, perhaps a little too hesitantly as I can see her reaction. I feel awkward, unsure of how I should approach her. “I’m Alice,” I say finally, and, feeling uncertain, I simply pull her into a hug. “It’s nice to finally meet you. Lex talked about you a lot.”