This RP is part of the Great Reformation arc.
Synopsis: Ahab and Milon put their resources together to try to pull off the plan they had come up with for solving the problem of the Infected. They find a building to trap the Infected in and start about setting up their lures to trick the Infected into the set up trap. A bit of miscommunication leads to an unwanted outcome, and although some of the Infected were trapped inside the building, others were killed in the process. Realizing they need more people to help out with this kind of operation, Milon and Ahab set out to find more people. In a symbolic display of humanity, Milon raised a blood-soaked rag over the building to acknowledge the blood shed over the centuries because of the plague, both when it hit and as it began to subside. Operation Blood is born.
Characters: Ahab and Milon
Location: Deserted Market Place, East Ankou Ennis
Deserted Market Place
Progressing further into the eastern half of the city, it becomes obvious that something is not quite right here. The signs and stalls that remain standing indicate that this particular strip of roadway was once a marketplace, but nothing is left of the glory it had once been. Paint has begun to peel away from aged advertisements for various inventions and products that had been newly released from factories. A few crates of merchandise that had been in the process of being unloaded can still be found haphazardly strewn within the steam carts that once carried them. The windows of the various shops that stand along the strip have long since been broken, and all the more useful items looted. All that remains are those that still seek shelter within their walls.. or more dangerously; the cursed ones that hide in the shadows the buildings offer.
Milon was seated on the roof of a warehouse, one leg bent at the knee and the other stretched out in front of him. The mouth mask he usually wore when he was on the move was pulled below his chin to hang around his neck. Overgrown, chestnut brown hair hung in front of his face as he twisted the tie on one of his noisemakers to tighten it. Each little noisemaker contained sawdust soaked in nytroglicerin, a small cloth wrapping to hold the contents together, and a wick attached to ignite and trigger the explosive reaction waiting to happen within. It was all the makings of dynamite, only the noisemakers were small enough they'd only create a cracking sound. Milon didn't doubt it'd hurt if they blew while someone was holding them. They might even lose a finger since the noisemakers were each about the size of his thumbnail, but he was all too familiar with this kind of explosive. He lifted his reddish brown eyes up to look at Ahab, and he held the lone noisemaker out. "Guess I should warn you these are actually pretty dangerous," he said. He'd already tested one of them out to see if the noise was enough to draw out infected, and it had worked. Now it was a matter of executing their plan. "Okay, so I been thinkin'," he started, straightening up and looking out at the street in front of them. "We can probably lure a small number of 'em to this warehouse, maybe a hive's worth, but I'd bet more can fit in here than we can actually collect, just you and me. If this works out, we'll have to gather people who want to help and show 'em how to do it. If we could get at least five people," he emphasized 'five' on his hand and looked at Ahab to make sure he was paying attention, "we could clear out an entire neighborhood. And if we can get thirty people: that's five people per neighborhood, which means we could knock out six neighborhoods in one day. That's assuming each band manages only one round up a day, but I'd hope we could try for two or three round ups if we get especially good." There was a pause as he licked his lips. "If we can get any number of people to join this, we could have it done in no time. You and me alone can't do this right, I'ma tell you that right now. The hives are scattered throughout, and we'd need people in different parts, covering about a half mile's radius, to really be effective. But we're gonna test this out."
Ahab was seated next to him, idly swinging his feet. This was high up. Well, he'd been on top of the wall that one time, but still. It was relaxing, in a way. When he began to speak, Ahab looked his way, taking in every detail. Five people, maybe. He could manage. Ahab took the noisemaker and examined it, making sure not to pull or prod on anything. "Chances are...might be able t'get a buncha people in on it." Croix would be all for this idea. "Least we can do is test'er out 'n make sure this'll feckin' work, ehn? So long as you make sure yer somewhere safe 'n can't be grabbed. I'm a helluva lot faster'n you are." Than anyone, really. Except Croix. But he had his advantages. "Hooo boy. You ready t'try it out?" He looked at Milon and shot him a grin, clearly showing off the pointed fangs he possessed. Ahab, at least, didn't make it the biggest secret.
Milon was a little surprised by those fangs. It was enough to make him lean back suddenly to inspect them from a slightly farther distance, eyebrows drawn together. "Alright, then, bigshot. This is what you'll do since you're so fast." He started to untie the sack around his waist and handed it to Ahab. "You take this bag and use as few as possible but enough to draw out as many infected as you can. You might need to outrun them and drop some along the way to guide them along. When I see you, you go hide, and I'll take over the luring. I'm gonna set up a series of noisemakers inside so when they're all gathered close enough to the warehouse, wandering around confused, I'll let it off and they'll all run to the warehouse to see what's up. That's when we jump in and shut the doors and seal 'em in. Keep out of sight once they're around here, alright? If they see you, they're gonna chase you and not think twice about the noise." Just in case that wasn't obvious enough already.
Ahab nodded, getting to his feet and taking the bag. Make a bunch of noise. Easy. "I'll try 'n just use the noisemakers, 'n not use, y'know. Me yellin'. We're testin' these, not how loud I can be." He peered over the side of the warehouse after a moment, nodding the once. He could climb it. He might have to punch some holes into the wall, but he could climb it. "An' fer the record, yeah. The teeth're real. But I don't bite co-workers. I got standards, y'know? S'a trust thing. Now let's make these fuckers dance!" With that, Ahab was off, slowly climbing off the edge of the warehouse to clamber down the side of it and down onto the street. Milon, if he looked hard enough, would be able to see him running through the streets. He hadn't turned a noisemaker on yet, but a few minutes would pass and he would clearly hear the roar that rose up after the activation of the first one.
Milon shook his head at Ahab once he was clambering down the side of the warehouse, watching him from the rooftop for a beat before pulling his mouth mask up over his mouth and nose, and climbed down himself. He went into the warehouse and started to set up a string of noisemakers that would explode in quick succession once the first one exploded. From his waist, he unwound some wick from a spool, lining it from the first set of noisemakers to a second series he put down. He was aiming for a small delay between the two, and then a slightly bigger delay between the second and third set of noisemakers to make sure he had the infecteds' full attention, but as he was unwinding the second length of wick for the third set, he heard the first of Ahab's noisemakers and panicked. He cut the wick quickly and set up the last series of noisemakers. Unwinding his spool and rushing out of warehouse as fast as he could, he managed only a quick glance at his work, so he wasn't even sure if his setup would work. Outside the doors, he stopped to look around half-panicked. He was almost out of wick, and there was hardly a safe hiding place for him near by enough. He grit his teeth, telling himself that Ahab was clearly an idiot for not realizing his setup inside the warehouse needed more than a damn minute. If the noisemakers inside failed, Milon would thank Ahab for it. Pissed and still half-panicked, he tried to find a nearby hiding spot. There was nothing. He turned out and looked at the door. He could hide behind one, but that still left him half exposed. Dammit. That's when he noticed a warped sheet of rusted metal tall enough to conceal him if he crouched. Releasing the end of the wick, he sprinted for it and carried it over to the door. Dirt kicked up underneath him as he rushed back to the wick and dragged it to his makeshift hiding place, scuttling in behind the piece of metal and crouching so that he was hidden by the warped metal and the warehouse's door. He was panting hard, and he tried to slow his breathing as he pinched the wick's end in his fingers and leaned the warped metal against his shoulder to hold it up as he dug around his coat for a matchbox. Finding it, he set the wick down carefully and pulled free a matchstick, holding it at the ready against the grain for when he needed to strike. His breathing was slowing, but his heart beat furiously in his chest. He was listening to the closeness of Ahab's noisemakers, waiting for when they fell silent.
Ahab was leading the infected on a merry, hellish chase. And giving them quite the exercise run. Leaping over walls, barreling through doors and cackling all the while, Ahab hadn't had this much fun in a while. Legitimate fun. He must have had a whole goddamn hive after him! It was brilliant! The only change he had to make was he WASN'T supposed to turn around and begin violently tearing them limb from limb, which was upsetting but he could manage. After going past another wall and breaking line of sight from the infected, he popped one more noisemaker before diving into a nearby pile of trash, burrowing himself in quite deep. He was about forty percent sure there was a jagged bottle poking into his side, but he didn't care. He held his breath. Quiet, and waited for the noisemakers in the warehouse to activate.
Milon waited about ten seconds after the silence came before he struck his match and lit the end of the wick. He knew how fast the wick would burn and roughly how long it'd take for it to get to the noisemakers, but it dawned on him in that moment that the noisemakers would detonate in reverse order. Fucking Ahab... he cursed to himself. There would be several seconds of a wait before the first popopop rang out. Milon visibly cringed and plugged his ears, counting in his head when the second and third set would go off. He lowered his hands from his ears and held his breath, heart speeding up again as he waited for the infected to congregate inside the warehouse. They didn't all need to know where to go. Just one infected followed by another entering the warehouse would draw an entire stream of them that were just following the infected before them. It would be by sheer mob mentality that they would rush into the warehouse with hisses, hoping food waited for them there. Not sure if more were coming, Milon felt a lull and shot up to his feet at the opportunity to shove the door shut. It clattered shut and he drove a warped but sturdy metal pipe through the handles. The Infected charged at the door, shoving it outward but the length of the pipe held it closed enough that only their deserpate, reaching hands could poke out as they peered through to cry and hiss in starved desperation. Milon was quick to back away, but the trapped infected didn't have his attention for long. About a handful hadn't made it into the warehouse, and they were heading for him. "FUCK YOU, AHAB," he shouted as he swung his pump-action rifle strapped to his back forward and pumped the lever rapidly. He brought the rifle up to his cheek, took quick aim, and fired the first shot. Bull's eye: the infected dropped.
Ahab wouldn't let Milon have all the fun. Regardless of his sudden and intense dislike for him, as soon as Milon popped the first infected in the head, he'd see the rampaging, whirling dervish of a blur that was Ahab tearing into one of the rearmost infected, ripping one of its arms clean off and using it to proceed to beat the infected skull into submission. As fast as Milon could kill them, Ahab could match his pace with sheer brutality. It was glorious. Once they had settled and killed the last few stragglers, Ahab stood over the corpses of the dead and damned with a smile on his face, patting at his barely bleeding side. "Hah! Trapped us...a whole warehouse full'a the fuckers. Why y'mad at me again?" He looked Milon's way, head cocked and still smiling. "Nice piece, by the way..." He was referring to the gun, of course. "Ain't seen nothin' like it..."
Milon maintained his rifle raised as he panted and waited for the adrenaline to subside. When he finally lowered it, he swallowed, glared at Ahab, and started marching toward him. Dropping his rifle on the floor, he wound up his fist and took a swing at Ahab's stupid, smug face. He was fucking furious.
Ahab's smile started to fade as Milon approached. Oh, but it came back. Did it ever. Ahab gladly let the fist strike into his face, barely stumbling, barely MOVING. As Ahab turned his face into the fist, all Milon would see behind it was the craze. A mistake. But! Moving to brush Milon's hand away, the smile faded and he went to take a deep, deep breath. "Y'got that outta yer system?"
Milon wouldn't reveal how much that punch fucking hurt his hand, but the boiling anger underneath went unchecked. His answer to Ahab would be a rough shove at his chest, which would do less than the punch did. It even made his already hurting hand ache even more, but Milon wouldn't bother to even flinch. Nostrils flaring, breath coming out in sharp rasps, he started pacing back and forth. He could barely contain the rage burning inside his gut. He could almost feel it burning at the backs of his eyes. He stopped all of a sudden, threw his arms out, and shouted, "You could've fucking killed me, you son of a bitch!" He started panting again, chest rising and falling violently. "I said I need to set shit up inside the warehouse! You couldn't wait five fucking minutes before you went all ham with my fucking explosives? You know how hard it is to make nytroglycerin, you fuck? I said use as few as possible, but as many as you needed. One could've drawn out an entire hive from a single building, you dumb fuck! Now I have to make more of those fucking explosives." He resumed his pacing, stomping around back and forth, but then he stopped again and said, "You know what? Fuck this." How matter-of-fact. "Fuck this, and fuck you." He scooped up his rifle, threw the strap over his shoulder, adjusted it, and started to march away.
Ahab watched him let it out. He waited. He then held up the pack, still half full. Ahab had used three, maybe four explosives. "Milon. Yer alive, 'n I knew you'd make it cuz yer like me. You survive." His voice was measured, level. Steady, Ahab. "I didn't know the potency, 'n used four of 'em. Fer that, I'm sorry. Now that I know, I won't make the same mistake. 'n I'm sorry I didn't give ya enough time, cuz I thought you could manage. And y'did. But I getcha. Here's yer bag, I'll see you around, 'n hopefully the East is right pretty 'n picked up next time I see ya'round." With that, he held out the pack and waited. "...'n make sure y'didn't break any fingers, okay? Didn't rightly see which hand is yer shootin' hand but I'd hate t'see you get bit." His breathing was slow and steady. The fire was there, but for once he refused to lose his temper. He waited.
Milon slowed to a stop and turned to glare at Ahab as he spoke. He glanced at the bag and then back to Ahab. He knew as well as Ahab did that he wouldn't leave that bag behind. That shit took time to make and, like he said, nitroglycerin didn't fall from trees. He had to make it himself, and the ingredients weren't the easiest to come by in the East. He straightened his shoulders and lifted his chin. Although he wanted to hold his anger in place, he couldn't help but let it diminish. The stride back toward Ahab was less furious but still pissy, and like a pissy brat, he snatched the bag roughly from Ahab's hand and stared him down, as if to say, 'what are you gonna do about it?' but it was for naught since Ahab had been handing it to him in the first place. It wasn't as if he'd snatched it back from an unwilling person. His breathing was already controlled, but he maintained that pissed-off look. Lifting the bag to look at it, his shoulders started to sag. He felt like an asshole, and Ahab might recognize the touch of shame around his frown. "...You know any more people like you?" he finally asked, shamefully bringing his eyes to meet Ahab's gaze.
Ahab offered the man a bit more of an even smile. "Define 'like me'. Like a vamp, 'er like a good runner? I know a few who are a bit less psycho." He tapped at his head, at that. "I...get it. I ain't exactly easy t'work with, or be around. Or...look at or talk to, or even be near." Whoops this got personal. "...but yeah. Define 'like me'. 'n while I'm here..." Ahab turned and strode to the warehouse door, grabbing the iron bar that had held it shut and with a grunt of effort, beginning to twist it so that it was more of a 'knot' shape. Better to hold them in. He did sweat visibly from the effort, at least.
Milon definitely did not want the psycho part of it. "Uh... vamp?" he offered, trailing Ahab with his eyes as he moved to the door. His eyebrows raised in surprise. "I guess vamps are good runners, have faces made of iron, and can just bend metal?" He sounded incredulous. "Sure. More vamps with less psychotic tendencies. We need fast- and disciplined...- people for this kinda job." Tying the bag to his waist again, he looked around for a way to mark the warehouse somehow so they'd know which building to come back to later. Spotting a tattered rag nearby, he walked over to it to pick it up, and then made his way to one of the bloodier dead infected and stopped just shy of soaking the rag in its blood. The color was already red, which might've explained the flushed, more human complexion it had before it died. Lowering to a crouch slowly beside the body, with his leather gloved hands, he pulled its eyelid open to inspect its eye and noticed the red had already been clearing up before it was killed. It even had fuzz growing on its head. He pursed his lips and frowned. This one would've survived. Turning his attention to the blood, he soaked the rag in until it was a vibrant sanguine color and rose. From a scrap pile, he was able to find a rusted rebar and proceeded to tie the red rag to its end securely. Making his way to the warehouse, he looked up the side he'd climbed the first time and fastened the rebar to himself, then started the difficult climb to the warehouse's roof. Once he pulled himself over the roof's edge, he rose to his feet and started to look for a place where he could wedge the rebar in.
Ahab shrugged, watching him go about his business. "Well. Not all of 'em got teeth like I got. But I know a few who're a lot more disciplined'n I am, that's fer sure." He climbed up to the roof alongside Milon, making sure to keep pace. Once they were up there, he folded his arms and continued to watch him. "I'll round 'em up. I got two of 'em who're right good at runnin', 'n I got my eyes on a third. I also got a doc. Old guy. Studied the infected fer..." Forever. "...a while. He'll be tellin' us who can make it 'n who can't." A beat. "...try not to punch a vamp. It uh." He sniffed, rubbing at his nose. "...usually don't go that well." He abruptly took a seat on the ledge of the warehouse, watching over the broken market once again. "Mm. I'll bring 'em 'round the train station first chance I get, iffin' yer' keepin' watch on it."
Milon listened as he searched the roof of the warehouse to find a good perch for the rod. It wasn't difficult considering how aged the building was. He didn't say anything as he wriggled the rebar into a hole and shook it to make sure it was in steady, and then he lifted his gaze to stare out over the market place along with Ahab. It was late into the evening, the sun already casting orange streaks across the sky. Aside from the struggle the infected were putting up against the sealed door below, the scene was peaceful and Milon reveled in the silence of it. A blood red flag was erected upon the roof of the warehouse that day, a symbol of the blood lost by the innocent, infected and not, and the blood that would be saved once the old died out and the rest regained their lives; it was a tribute to East Ankou's humanity and suffering, but perhaps most importantly, it was a symbol of hope. Ankou's blood would survive.