Off to camp!
In the days when the virus had begun to spread - but not yet finished its terrible toll on the adult population - society was changing. Governments and civil structures wondered how to react to the threat of the virus, which they knew was going to exact massive damage to the world. What should they do? What parts of society should change in reaction to the virus?
Well, one area of change was the establishment of certain “boot camps”. Many kids and teens were (naturally) totally freaked out by the threat of the virus - and the likelihood that their parents or loved ones would soon disappear. For other kids and teens, their parents had already been afflicted by the virus.
The boot camps were established for two main reasons - firstly, they would provide a haven where distressed/freaked out kids and teens could go for help and counselling. Secondly, they would provide a home for kids and teens who had no other home to live in as a result of the virus`s work.
Into one of these camps stepped Lex - and Ryan
When the going gets tough
Had Lex and Ryan lost their parents? Or were they just totally stressed out by the threat of the looming virus? Whatever reason, Lex and Ryan arrived at the camp with other kids and teens.
But the authorities were not completely compassionate. Instead, the leaders of the camp (who were all female, ex-members of the army) felt they should “toughen” up the youngsters at the camp. Their belief was that if the kids and teens were distressed or behaving in odd ways then the best course of action was not to offer sympathy and compassion (which might make the kids even “weaker” and more distressed) - but to discipline the kids and teens, to make them tough so they could overcome their feelings and sensitivities.
A course of toughness - making the kids and teens tough in mind, spirit and body - this was the medicine that would prepare the kids and teens for the changing world after the virus?
Lex: Rebel with a cause
As soon as Lex arrived at the camp - and its brutal and tough approach - he rebelled. Lex hated the arrogance he saw in the staff members and how they offered no sympathy or care at all. Lex would joke and make witty comments when given orders. He would react to stern directive with a sarcastic smile or phrase.
Lex did not want the camp to “break him” - he didn
t want to be their on his own choice. It was his willpower and determination to resist the camps “toughening” approach. Lex was going to remain as Lex, nothing would change who he was - or how he behaved.
Lex even went as far as “chatting up” some of the female officers at the camp. He thought some of them were cute and attractive - but his “advances” at them were really part of his rebel strategy - he felt the officers were not superior beings above him who could give any order and have Lex and the others obey them without question? instead, by blowing kisses and giving smouldering looks, Lex was belittling the officers, showing that they too were human - and making fun at them?
Mam is the word…
The main officer in “charge” of Lex was known as “Mam”. All the boys there had to call her “Mam” out of respect. She saw Lex`s rebellion as challenge to her authority (which it was) - but she was as determined to “break” Lex as Lex was to resist her.
This led to fiery confrontations at the training ground, on the obstacle course, at the camp dorms - “Mam” cracked down on Lex and punished him with extra exercises and work to do. This only increased Lex` s rebellion.
Right here, right now, right beside you - Ryan
Ryan was unhappy at the camp - although he went on with the orders and did what he was told. Ryan was impressed by Lex
s rebellious streak. He admired the way Lex stuck to his principles and didnt surrender to the officers.
Moreover Ryan felt Lex was right - he thought the female officers were being arbitrary - doing what they wanted and giving orders for no good reason, just to strengthen their own authority. Ryan thought the “toughening up” approach was wrong too.
But Ryan was quieter than Lex - more of the shy type. It was Ryan`s approach to bide his time. He would speak to Lex (out of earshot from the female officers) and say how we agreed with Lex but he thought Lex should cool things down - otherwise the officers would clamp down even harder to crush any resistance. But Lex would not cool down.
Goodbye to you - and hello to friendship
One day Ryan openly supported Lex - and earned the wrath of “Mam” and the female officers. They felt Lex - and his “accomplice” Ryan - were nuisances and something had to be done to them
Lex and Ryan were hauled to appear before the chief of the camp. She heard the reports of “Mam” as to what Lex and Ryan had done wrong. But “Mam” was lieing - she said Ryan and Lex had done things that they just had not honestly done in reality. She was lieing to try to get Lex and Ryan in even greater trouble?
Lex and Ryan flipped at her dishonesty. They thought this was the last straw - another wrong was being done to them when they were quite innocent here.
Lex and Ryan were sent away from the camp- dismissed. They were pleased to be freed. But their troubles and challenges were only just starting. Out of the adversity they suffered at the camp, a special bond was forged between them which created a strong friendship. This friendship would be tested as they were sent to an even tougher camp, and as the virus wreaked its toll, changing forever the world.
So this is the story of how Lex met Ryan - and how they became friends. It was the start of a beautiful friendship.
Lex and Zandra knew each other when they were very young - they attended pre-school together. They even shared their first kiss together at age four when they had a wedding in the sandpit.
But when Zandra turned five her parents moved across town and Zandra ended up at a school in another suburb. Many years went by as these two young people grew up in different parts of town forgetting each other.
It seemed such a coincidence when they bumped into each other 10 years later.
After Lex came out of bootcamp he and Ryan were trying to find a safe place in the city to make a bed and call home. They had been dodging the Loco’s for hours and it was getting dark.
They stumbled across an old Fashion Boutique and decided that a bunch of old clothes might come in handy both for wearing and for a soft bed. They decided to spend the night. But they weren’t the only ones with the same idea.
Zandra and Glen had been staying at the store for the past two weeks and were finding it a great place to stay out of sight and one of the few places in town that hadn’t been completely raided.
Lex stumbled into the storeroom at the back - he found Zandra. They didn’t recognise each other at first, it had been 10 years. It wasn’t until Ryan called out to Lex that Zandra recognised the name.
They chatted all through the night - Zandra and Glen were at school together before the virus and Lex explained about being sent to bootcamp with Ryan. They had lots to catch up on.
In the morning they caught the Loco’s patrolling the streets around them and decided some fast talking was needed or they were going to be caught. Lex had an idea. Zandra and Glen thought the whole idea was going to get them killed but Ryan didn’t have much to say. Lex jumped into the street in front of the patrol car.
Lex told Zoot that the four of them were interested in joining the Loco’s. He did this thinking that it might be their best chance at surviving in the city. If they could join the toughest tribe in the city they’d have nothing to fear and never have to go hungry again. Zoot had other ideas.
Lex told him that if they met again by the end of the day Lex could round them up a whole lot of goods to help sweeten the bargain.
Zoot was amused , he gave Lex until 6.00pm…