Dangerverse. Turns out a life of solitude was less cool and more boring than he'd anticipated.
The door of this house, the smallest on the street, was kicked in, just one jagged lump of wood still attached to a hinge. The single window was smashed and the curtains draped over the ledge like dropped puppets, the pole that used to hold them up snapped in half. Most of the shingles from the roof were missing. It smelled like month-old milk and there was a suspicious spotted rusty trail leading out of the door.
But it was the only house on the street that hadn't been reduced to rubble. Which meant maybe working pipes. Which meant maybe water.
Poison didn't hesitate. He stepped quickly up to the doorway, avoiding the splatters of blood. The Dracs had blown through this town, that much was obvious by the wreckage, but there was no way of telling whether it had been weeks, days, or hours ago. Some might have decided to hang around.
Poison stepped nimbly over the chunk of door, holding his gun level. He took in the room, turning his head so his mask wouldn't impair his vision. A battered couch, a toppled bookshelf, a lampshade somehow still standing upright.
He moved swiftly though the house, keeping his back pressed against walls where possible and always making sure his gun entered each room before him.
The house was even smaller than it had looked from the outside, and it only took him about ten minutes to scope all the rooms. No hiding Dracs. Just upturned furniture and stale, hot air.
Poison swiftly returned to the kitchen, his boots squeaking on the linoleum. Everything seemed louder when everyone who had once occupied this house, this town, had lives and jobs and families and pets, was now either dead or worse than it. Wiped clean and rewritten as the perfect kind of zombie. One that obeyed orders without question. And had good hygiene.
He went straight for the rusted taps, but when they were dry he wasn't that surprised. He crossed the room again, reaching for the fridge instead, and trying not to laugh out loud when he found that it was stocked with bottled juice. Keeping his gun in one hand, he awkwardly unscrewed the cap of one and drank deeply, washing the dust and grime and sand of the last day out of his throat. The juice was warm and stagnant, but to someone who hadn't had a drink in twenty-eight hours it was like liquid orgasm.
He drained another two before filling his flask and closing the fridge door. Better to leave some in there in case another zone runner happened across this place.
No point in checking the cupboards, they were riddled with laser burns. Any food that had once been in there would be nothing but carbon. Poison stretched, feeling the muscles in his back protest angrily. He needed a few hours sleep. Just a couple. Then he'd be back on the road.
He walked back into the front room, kicking aside a broken rocking horse and what looked like the neck of a guitar. Remanents of people that didn't exist any more. He sighed, choosing the least stained cushion from the couch to use as a pillow and walking around behind the smashed bookcase. He lay down, arranging himself so that he was hidden by the bulk of the wood, but a splintered gap meant he had a good view of the door. Not as good as the place he'd found three nights ago, but better than the backseat of the Trans. He pulled off his mask, curled up, made sure his gun was within easy reach, and fell into a practiced light sleep.
He was woken by a muffled bang and a loud curse. Poison leapt to his feet, his gun already in his fingers and pointing at where the sound had come from. The thing that had made the noise was hidden behind the sofa. Of-fucking-course.
Keeping his arms straight out, finger poised on the trigger, he crept sideways around the sofa to get a clear shot. Aim for the face, then run like fuck. Who knows how many of them it had brought. Inwardly he cursed at himself for forgetting to wipe his trail. The footprints must have led it straight here. And he'd left his mask behind the bookshelf, fuck. He'd have to shoot it, run back for the mask and then escape out the window. Not his cleanest plan, but it would have to do.
He edged around the sofa and then froze, ice flooding his veins.
It wasn't an it.
It was a person.
A person who was staring up at Poison with wide amber-green eyes, their left wrist cradled to their chest. They'd tripped over what was left of the door.
A man. No, a boy. He looked barely older than Mikey had been. Before.
Realizing he was staring at this kid and coming across as very unproffesional, Poison narrowed his eyes, walking closer to the stranger but not lowering the gun.
The kid didn't look fazed in the slightest at having a nuclear weapon about thee inches away from his temple. He just kept staring at Poison. He didn't look shocked anymore, he looked like he was thinking. Trying to work something out.
"Do I know you from somewhere?" Poison jumped. He hadn't heard a voice that wasn't his own, the lead singer of The Mad Gear and Missile Kid or Dr. D's in... well... a long time. Not since the last time he had seen Pony, probably.
"No." He said shortly, frowning. He didn't know what to do. He knew there were other people running the zones, obviously. He'd met a fair few, buried even more. But he'd never seen anyone like this kid before. He was so young. And he didn't even reek too bad. His dark hair was longish and not in bad condition. If it weren't for the layer of dust coating his obnoxiously bright clothes, and the way his face showed actual emotion, the way his eyes lit up - Poison might have mistaken him for one of them.
"Did you escape from the city?"
"Yep. Ten days ago. With my best friend and his boyfriend. Strangely, the drones didn't approve of them. So we pegged it. Took a week's worth of food and water and burned a town wall to the ground." He's smiling now. "You should have seen it, man, it was awesome."
This kid was weirdly chatty for someone with a strange man pointing a face melter at him.
What a weirdo.
Poison decided to keep him.