Sunday, January 26, 2014

Living Dead

Part of this one highlights something that has over time gotten...Passed along to the side. That being that Red practices alchemy, and that he does claim to be a 'doctor'(though in reality the most medical training he's ever had is a short run-through that was meant to be enough for him to be a short-term field medic during his short stint in the military).

Thought of after a short RP session

Red shook his head as she left. More downplaying himself. Why did he keep doing that? There was no reason to it. What had happened to all the change bull he'd told himself? Excuses, thinking on it would just lead to more excuses.

What he'd said had been true though. He hadn't died enough, and he didn't plan on changing that. That was the last true thing he had, and he wanted to hold on to it. He needed to hold on to it. That was the last bit of his identity, that was the last bit that made him, him. Emotion. Remorse, happiness, pity, sorrow, he didn't want to lose that. The little niggling voice in the back of his head that made him always question what he did? That needed to stay.

He'd made it thus far working with what he had, but he had the feeling it'd leave him with a disadvantage. He smirked, a challenge was always fine and good, he supposed. He walked in the center of the decaying bar, looking around, seeing stand in stark contrast with the one he'd been just a short while ago. He smirked, looking at his feet, moving in the two step manner he'd done earlier that day.

No, he wasn't changing in that regard. Screw anyone who thought lesser of him for feeling, actually feeling. He picked up a small glass vial, long ago holding some form of alcohol, he was sure, glancing at the wall, he wound up, almost throwing it, stopping himself, he dropped it to the ground. Why should he? It let him vent, but what was there to vent about? The only person he had to be mad at was himself. How many times today alone how he said how useless, or moronic, or weak he was?

The only person, Red finally saw, holding him back, was himself. And that was the problem. He'd always put himself down, it was his way of doing things. Criticism was all he could ever provide for himself. He searched his pockets, pulling out the antidote he'd been working on for awhiel now.

"You did this. You, thought this up, fixed it, even if you broke it." he forced himself to say. "You're the one who fixed it. No one else. You." Red stuffed the syringe back in his pocket, thinking for a moment, before sitting down, on the bare floor.

"There are people that trust you. And you don't even trust yourself." he said to himself, "Fix it. Else you're gonna regret it sooner down the line."

He sat there in silence for the longest time. "You're a good doctor, even if you say otherwise. You're a good alchemist, even if you say otherwise." he said, speaking to no one in particular. "You're too hard on yourself. Get over yourself! You do what you can, you try to progress in what exactly you 'can' do, no one can ask more of you. To anyone that does, screw them! Stand up, be a man, and quit bein' so hard on yourself." he yelled.

Redamous pushed himself off the ground, "You defy your expectations, because you have none. Get some." And with that, he shuffled out of the abandoned site. His stature was a bit straighter. And that niggling voice in the back of his head kept telling him it wouldn't last, he'd be back to it soon enough, and he knew it was probably right. But for the night? He felt good.

Hello World

Thought up while listening to "Hello World" by Lady Antebellum

The giggling woke him up. He gave a short moan, and stretched, looking around. He'd fallen asleep, he shouldn't have done that, but the grass just felt so....nice. She continued to giggle, and he finally pushed himself off the ground, stretching again, before looking around for where the sound came from.

Red laughed, for a broken place, Nagrand was beautiful. Simple as that. Just looking around at the scenary calmed him. He'd planned to leave weeks ago. He should have left weeks ago. But he just couldn't.

There was nothing for him back with the Alliance. No point, no purpose. They didn't want him, his race, or his kind. Far as he knew, they were better off not having to deal with him.

But out here, he wasn't hated, the two he came in contact we seemed to feel the opposite. The older claimed how she loved having another person around, the younger loved having someone around to play with.

The younger, was a few yards away, running through some of the taller grass, laughing her head off. Red couldn't help but smile at the sight. The moment she saw he was up, she ran to him, still laughing.

"Red! Come on, I want to show you something!" she said, tugging at his hand. He laughed, letting her lead him on, simply nodding. She pulled him through a small bunch of trees, that exited into a clearing. "There! See it?" she pointed, and he squinted into the distance.

In the clearing stood about six or so Talbuk. Red smirked, nodding, "I see them."

She shook her head, "Not them, that!" she pointed again.

Red squinted even more, following her finger, before finally he saw it. At first he thought it was just a large rock, but then he saw it move. It seemed to just glide across the ground, walking on air, what looked like arms weren't even attached to it. Elemental, the word finally came to him. The older had warned him before about them, this had to be one.

The creature's eyes met his at that moment, and it began to hover their way. She simply giggled, clapping her hands, "Look at it! That's so cool!" she said.

Red shook his head, and grabbed her hand, pulling her away, "Yeah, I see it, I see it." he muttered, as they moved the way they'd came. The second he heard it begin to break through the trees he hoisted her up into his arms and broke into a dead sprint.

He glanced back, he was gaining ground, but he began to worry how far this thing would follow them. After a few minutes of moving, the hut he'd resided in for weeks now came into view. When they arrived, he set her down, and ran in, grabbing his blade from where it'd layed, running back out.

The elemental, as he'd suspected was still on them. Red sprinted towards it, ramming the blade as deep into it as he could manage. If the elemental had felt any pain, it didn't show, as it swing hard, striking Red in the side. The Worgen flew through the air landing a few feet away.

Slamming into the ground, Red let out a small "Oof.", and lay still. Her shriek pierced the air, and he pushed himself, dizzily to his feet. He saw the large rock moving closer and closer to her, and roared as loud as he could. He was dead, she didn't need to be.

The elemental charged again, and as it did, he vaulted over it, his blade running along it as he did. When he landed, he turned, ready to fight again, in time to see it go to pieces.

Red quickly turned again to where the child had been, his eyes widening when he saw she was gone. He called out to her, before sniffing the air, following what trail he could gather from that.

The scent lead him to another clearing, and he began looking around desperatly for the child. Her mother was away, selling her wares, and would return soon enough, he wouldn't be able to even look at her if he lost her daughter.

She screamed again, and his eyes darted to the sounds place of origin. A clefthoof stood there, that's what he saw first, the second thing he saw was her flying through the air, almost like a bird. He sprinted, sliding just in time to catch her in his arms, she moaned in pain.

When he made it back to the hut, he lay her on the small rug, and rushed around, gathering what medical supplies he could find.

Red's File

As I look through these I notice that, for the most part, I've not done too much in the way of retconning. The exception to that being the mention of the guild I had happened to be in prior to changing servers, which I had tried to work in for the sake of a consistent character, but which I've long since stopped acknowledging. Again, every error and such is preserved.


Red coughed as he entered the musty room. His eyes scanned it, as he coughed, running everyone as he opened the door. It had to be here. As he walked the isles of drawers, he stopped, at one marked "R". Pulling open the drawer, he began flipping along the files inside, before pulling out one, marked with his name.

Pulling a nearby decaying chair up to the lone table in the room, he opened the file. Looking around quickly, to make sure he was alone, he assured himself that few people would actually come in here. He was certain there were particular people who looked, and updated these things, but he was fairly certain he wouldn't be interrupted.

Slowly, he lifted the first page from the folder, and looked it over. He laughed, simple information. Reading along, he smiled at how some of the information was recorded.

First name: Redamous

Last name: Withheld

Height: 8 ft

Weight: 250 lbs

Rank: Sergeant

Race: Worgen

Status: Active

Shaking his head, he grinned. His last name wasn't withheld, it was nonexistent. Everything else was accurate, and he was alittle suprised that someone had taken the time to update his rank.

Redamous flipped through a few more papers. Copies of his license, his original forms. As he continued through though, things became more interesting. Reports, reports he hadn't even known had been filed.

Glancing at one, he grinned slightly. "Freed at Light's Hope Chapel. Sent to Stormwind as representive of Worgen along with fellow Knights." it read.

Oh, he thought, if only it had been that simple.


Pain. Pain was the only thing in the world as far as he knew. The pike had been driven deep, extremely deep. The guards had ran off, and he now sat here alone, dying slowly.

He deserved it. That's the one thought that kept him sane. This is what he'd earned for himself. Killing his family, he was certain that he'd killed since, that'd earned him this. He didn't even deserve to die, he thought, just to sit here, in pain, forever.

Death, just the thought of death made him smile. He'd be with them, atleast. Maybe they'd find it to forgive him. Drifting, finally he was drifting off. Fading fast. Finally, he closed his eyes, and they didn't open again.

He hadn't really known what to expect when he woke up. But it wasn't this. His mind was a blur. Everything was a blur. Forge, kill, steal, kill. Orders, he thought, perhaps they were. Of course he followed them. Why wouldn't he? What else was for him to do? What other purpose could he serve?

Killing. The joy it gave him, as he viciously clawed at a man, who didn't even know what he was. He was a soldier. That's what all he was, all he ever seemed to have known. There was nothing else. Though there was blood, it seemed to coat the ground after he'd plowed through the area. He was a weapon. The weapon he'd forged, lay still on his back. All he needed were his claws. His mind, a hybrid of the feral and the man he'd been. Except the man's conscience, which seemed as dead as he was.

He didn't need a reason, just so long as he could sate his hunger for blood. A church was his next front. As the Knights charged, he didn't give it a second thought. The minutes that followed he couldn't recall. But once it had finished, he saw the Lich King, he saw him, and just waited for the next order. But it never came. Slowly, slowly, over the arguing, or whatever it was, that went on his mind cleared.

It seemed like at that very second, every face, of every life he'd ended flashed before his eyes. The thought of screaming came to mind, but he just couldn't.

Finally, one of the higher ranking Knights looked at him, "You look like you've got your wits about you. Get moving to Stormwind. Now." the officer stopped, "Names, I'm taking names, we'll finish up the rest when we're done here, but I'm getting the paper work started early."

The Worgen stared for the longest time. Thoughts clouded, he hardly understood what the man had told him. Stormwind, what in the world was that? Name. What was his name? Did he even have one? Of course he'd had a name. But what was it? Redemption. He wanted that. Work with it. After what seemed like seconds to him, he spoke, "Re....Red...Redamous."

The officer nodded, "Redamous, very good, one of the first beasts I've seen around here, reason I'm sending you if you wanted to know."

Red nodded, talking, was strained, hopefully it would come back in time. He followed the others who'd been given similar orders. They rode on horseback, but he ran, like an animal. Through unfamilar streets, in a city he'd never heard of, they rode. The posse ran to the ruler of the city, the king, and spoke of what had occured, offered their assitance. From what Red saw, they needed it. The city was no Gilneas, but as far as he saw, it'd be home. People stared when he walked, murmured to themselves, cursing his kind. Oh he was representing his kind, alright. People saw him as both an animal and a threat. Gilneas had yet to attacked by the Scourge, and many had never seen a Worgen. He could only imagine some's horror.

Up north, he was trying to help. He kept to the smaller assignments, and was hardly ever noticed. Redamous was rarely called upon when it came to doing anything of importance, always being assigned to simple clean up duty, but that didn't bother him. For the longest time, he formed a plan, this was his war. He knew that, but he didn't need to be here, he wasn't contributing much.

After weeks of contemplating, he went AWOL.


The Worgen sighed, as he thought back on it, he should have stayed. But no one had noticed. Well, he'd thought no one had noticed. As he peered through the file he saw reports from one of his old COs, Corporal Coldcart. They were all written in a decent cursive, and were easily read. Red laughed, something told him if Coldcart was still kicking, he was behind a desk, simply writing these days.

"The 'wolfman', as many of the boys have gotten to calling him, though he insists he has a name is worrying the others. They just don't like having to work around an animal. I've sent multiple requests for transfer, please atleast send some word."

"'Redamous' as he insists on being called, has yet to be moved from my squad. It would be easier just to move him."

"Sir, I don't care how good he does in the cleaning jobs. He needs moved, the others are worried to even work around him. I know there are alot more like him, but he's the only one around here, and alot of the boys are worried."

"The 'Worgen', didn't come back to camp. Assuming him dead, or captured. Finding the body will be our main priority, if we are not busy tommorow."

"We were too busy." (There were many of these)

The last one he saw, was a more finely typed report:

The Worgen, known as 'Redamous', returned to the hold today, on May the thirty first. He has pleaded guilty on the charge of being away without leave. Punishment was swift, assigned to the forest working with a group known as 'The Emerald Dream', we have thought the group to be insane and dangerous. We do not expect him to return.

Update: As the group no longer seems to exist, we are closing the book on them. Redamous is still alive, and is to be considered active in duty, a unit should pick him up soon.

But it hadn't been soon. It had taken time. He had been free to walk the streets for a few weeks, and he enjoyed his time doing so. The time between his going AWOL, and coming back to the Hold was mostly uneventful. He'd spent the time travelling. He'd explored the world, and found himself again, regained his thoughts, his past, his present. As he continued to flip through the pages, he laughed, and saw that there reports on his whereabouts during almost all of the time. Nothing specific, and it suprised him that they'd let him be, and he began to contemplate the reason, as he sank into a few memories of his travels.

As Red looked out over the Ebon Hold's railing, the land seemed to go on forever in every direction. He folded the map as best he could, and ordered a flight down to the ground.

Riding to the west, he seemed to disappear right into the sunset. The Worgen rode deep into the night, and into the next day. He rarely stopped, his legs didn't tire from all the running.

He was slowly getting used to the changes brought along by death. He no longer hungered. He never seemed to grow tired, water was no longer needed to sustain him.

Moving west, the sky seemed to grow darker. Night was not upon him just yet, it was an unnatural darkness. For the longest time he seemed to see no signs of life, but finally, further up the road, he saw what appeared to be an outpost. Figures came into view, shadowed sillouettes on the horizon.

As he moved through, they shouted in a language he didn't know. They're flesh seemed rotted, and they began to charge at him, arrows flying through the air. He didn't stop running. Charging forward, he managed to get away, and eventually, the sound of their footsteps stopped.

Finally, as he got deeper in what he had read as enemy territory on the map, he turned south. His destination wasn't far now, not far at all. Hours later it came into view.

The Greymane Wall looked about the same from this side, he thought. Looking it over, he stood back on two feet. What exactly was his plan? There was no way back in. There was no reason to go back in, they'd have shot him on sight. Perhaps he just wanted to see it again. He smiled for the first time in weeks. Just seeing it did give him a good feeling. The feeling that home was just feet away.

Turning around, he sighed. It wasn't home anymore. Running again, this time, he turned his attention to the east.

Weeks passed. He moved from place to place. Staying usually not longer than a day, three at most. As he slowly headed south, the terrain became more rocky, the temperature rose. This came to an end in the Swamp of Sorrows.

As he slowly walked down the road, the next town almost in view, he heard a rustling from a nearby bush. Turning, sword at the ready, he saw three men emerge.

"Hands up," one yelled, a gun in his hands, pointed right at the Worgen's head.

He complied, his hands going up, the sword going on the ground.

"What is it?" another asked, eyeing him up and down, "It's got glowing on of them, uh, Death Knights! That's what it is!"

The man with the gun nodded, "Got to be, but I still haven't ever seen one like this. Looks like a wolf with legs." he stepped closer, "Money, now."

Red shook his head. The man grew angry, "Listen here pal. Give it over, or we're putting you back in the ground. Simple as that." Slowly Red inched towards them, readying his claws, he gave a low growl.

The second man looked to the third, and elf, seeming to be afraid, "You're a druid...can't you people like calm these things down?"

The elf shook his head, "I've never seen anything like that thing, I...don't know." Red had never liked the elves he'd been forced to work with thus far. They were all too smug. Suddenly the elf seemed to focus on him.

Red's mind seemed to blur. He stumbled forward, trying to get a swing in, unfocus the druid, but he couldn't. He fell flat on his face.

The man with the gun smiled, "Not so tough now are you?" he asked, stepping close enough for Red to claw at his ankles. The man leaped back, but didn't drop the gun, letting out a loud howl.

Red laughed silently to himself, his vision growing darker with every passing moment. As he lay his head down on the ground, he heard a gunshot.

Finally, he could see no more, a second shot rang out, and a third. At last, he was asleep. Certain he would never wake up.

Opening his eyes, Red winced. There was so much light, it was almost blinding. He pushed himself off the floor into a sitting position.

This wasn't the road, he thought, and he was fairly certain it wasn't the afterlife. Looking around, he seemed to be in a one room home. A small bed lay in the corner, and a fire had been built. There were shelves here and there, and some food.

Red's head still ached. He was having trouble focusing still, but it was gradually getting better. As he glanced around the room a high pitched laughter entered his hearing range. Looking towards the door, he expected to see some lunatic run through and attempt to kill him.

Instead, through the door, entered a small Draenei child. Red's eyes widened as he tried to make sense of anything he was seeing. The child turned towards him, showing him her large smile. He'd had a hard time accepting the Draenei. A being from another dimension was just something he couldn't wrap his brain around. But they were good fighters, and intellegent, and he could accept that.

"Hey! He's awake!" the child said, running up to where the Worgen sat. She sized him up quickly, "Hi! I'm Jalona! Do you have a name?" she asked him. The Worgen gave her an awkward nod. "Well what is it?" she said, tilting her head.

The Worgen seemed to stop and think, and when he spoke, his voice was long and drawn out and he struggled with the words, "R-red....daa...m-mous.."

The Draenei clapped lightly, "That's alittle too long though, Redamous? How about..." she looked around the room, before eyeing a vase of red flowers on a table, "Red? That's kinda part of your name....and it's a thing..."

The Worgen raised an eyebrow, before nodding slightly. He glanced up just in time to see another figure, standing in the doorway. Another Draenei, this one obviously an adult. The child went running, and hugged the newcomer's leg. Red couldn't help but smile.

"Mommy! He's awake, and he's got a name!" said the child, pulling her mother along by the leg of her pants. The mother gave a wide smile.

"I was worried you were dead." she said lightly, "Well, as dead as your kind can get. Red nodded. "What? Nightsaber got your tongue?" Red shook his head, grasping at his throat. "Well, you obviously can talk if you can tell my daughter your name." the woman gave a slight smirk.

Red shook his head, grabbing his throat again. For some ungodly reason he couldn't speak more than what he had claimed was his name. Struggling again, he tried to push out a few words, "Can't talk good, since like this." he said motioning to his body.

The woman nodded, "Then I suppose it might come back to you at some point." she offered her hand helping him to his feet, and led him outside. Redamous shielded his eyes as he exited, the light was unbearable. Looking at the sky he could tell he wasn't in Azeroth. "Had to drag you all the way to the Dark Portal, mind you that you could afford to lose some weight. And since we seem to be getting introduced, I am Mokyna."

Red nodded, motioning around, "Where?" he asked. He'd heard of 'Outland' up north, but he had never been there.

Mokyna laughed, "Nagrand, I hunt out here and take it back to the Eastern Kingdoms. Very good business mind you." Red was suprised at how fluently she spoke Common. Almost all the Draenei he'd met had some sort of accent or struggle with it.

Red extended his hand, and smiled as the woman took it, "Red." he said. "How long sleep?"

She nodded, "So I heard." she shook her head, "Been a few weeks it seems. Let's say your lucky you don't need food or drink."


Snapping back to reality, Red frowned when he pulled out pictures, and sketches of the house and it's inhabitants. They didn't need any trouble. But considering he'd never seen the people who had drawn them, he supposed they'd kept their distance.

He'd spent the next few weeks with the pair. Helping the older with her hunting, and playing with her daughter.

After his time there, he'd traveled back to Azeroth. Making his way to Stormwind again.

They'd found him there, as he saw by the reports.

"Worgen sighted in Alliance Military Medical office. Left licensed. Apprehension always possible."

And yet they'd never grabbed him. It made him think. But he saw it as nothing to dwell on. He'd layed low after that, and apparantly so low they couldn't find him again. There wasn't a report for weeks. Then the shattering had occured.

"Worgen found. Requesting permission to grab and bring him to the frontlines." he read on one sheet, with a large, red "DENIED" stamped on it.


The wall was gone. That's what he'd heard. He couldn't have made his way back up north any quicker if he had tried. Flying west this time, his return was much swifter than the original run.

Shaking his head as he saw the wall, he could hardly believe his eyes. Anger fell over him, his fists clinched as he began walking back into the once great nation. The Scourge had their forces at the front, but they seemed to ignore him.

Finally, in the horizon, he saw it. Home. Running now, he burst through the door to find things mostly unchanged. The bodies were gone, anything that was broken was fixed. But it looked like no one had ever moved back in.

Shuffling through the small halls, he smiled in his sorrow, in his memories. As he entered what had once been his bedroom, he saw on the nightstand, a hat. His hat. It'd been a birthday present, he recalled. Taking his helm off, he set the hat on his head. His ears pushed it at odd angles.

Sighing he took the hat off. Looking it over, and idea suddenly popped into his mind. He sliced holes into it, and slid it back on his head. It fit, even though it was a bit small now, it fit, his ears popping out the top.

Also on the stand, he saw two rings. Holding them up to the light, he smiled, placing them in his pocket, an idea of what to do with them in his mind.

Sitting down in an old chair, he laughed as he heard it groan under his weight. Looking on the table the chair was near, he picked up a small book he couldn't recall seeing before. As the Worgen flipped through the pages, he smiled. At one time, he decided, it had been her prayer book. One of verses that had been written inside was underlined, with the words "Show to him soon." near it. He'd been having trouble with faith at the time, he remembered.

It read: "The Light only abandons those who feel they better it." Smiling, he shook his head. Never, would he leave it behind, he swore silently to her.


The next day, Red had returned to the Ebon Hold. His reassignment was odd, but he'd gotten past it. The weeks ran by quickly. Soon enough he was ready to be put back with a unit.

He laughed as he saw the enlistment papers for the 1113th. He was certain they regretted him joining to this day. He searched his pockets, pulling out a sheet of paper, the reason he'd came.

But before he could put it in, he saw the reports of his more recent exploits, with the unit. Tearing the paper up he saw someone had beat him to it.

Replacing all the papers he'd removed, Red simply left the file on the table. If the Colonels or General hadn't seen it by now, and he was sure they had, they would. He had nothing to hide.

As he left the room, he heard the sound of footsteps a short while away. Leaving swiftly, he grinned. He wasn't exactly sure if he had access. But if he didn't, he wished them good luck to try and catch him.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

In the Darkness

     Thick, deep darkness. There were so many words to describe it. At times, when he had found no other item to amuse him, he would resort to finding words that fit. Pitch black. Unholy. It was a game he played alone as he sat. The hours between the sun's setting and its rising were his and his alone, shared only by the sound produced by the disc in the radio, and the hum of the engine.

     She sat in the passenger side seat as always. Her position varied. One night she might be resting with her head against the window, others her head might lay on his lap, his hand occasionally finding its way to her hair, dark as the night that surrounded them. On rare occasions she might lean the seat back and stretch out for the sake of being comfortable. Tonight her head was against the window. One might almost have thought she was simply staring out into the nothingness, but he knew far better than they did. This was his time, and she was perfectly content to allow him such.

     Her shift began come the rising of the sun and stretched until it was high into the sky. That was when it was his turn to sleep. When the time came for their shifts to change, he would pull over, exit, and stretch. She would do the same. As they both passed by the front of the vehicle, they would embrace for a short moment, before returning to it on the opposite side that they had left, and the other would begin the long drive forward while the former holder of that position slept.

     She loved the morning. It was a time of things springing forth from a deep slumber to live again, a time of fresh air, and a time of beauty. Her eyes would flick lazily around, taking in whatever they happened to be passing by. Depending on where they were she might have to squint through some early morning haze, or an early morning rainstorm, but that mattered not. These variations contributed to her love of the time. There was nothing more soothing. He could understand such, but after having experienced the night before he was better off sleeping through it. This was her time and he was perfectly content to allow her such.

     When midday came around, he would stir. They would stop at some place suitable, exit the vehicle, and prepare a short meal. When it was finished, they would resume their previous positions, her driving, and continue on. This was their shared time and could never compare to their affairs with the night or the morning. Despite what such a schedule may imply, they found no better joy than taking in their surroundings as a pair.

     Some days they would sit in quiet, elbows resting against the console, hands held, watching the world around them pass by. Others they would converse over the older uses of such places, among other topics. Matters complex as philosophy flowed forth at times, and at others, thoughts on something as simple as when they might come across another settlement, deserted or not.

     Their possessions consisted of few items. That which they needed; fuel for months, food for much longer than that, and parts in case of an accident. That which they could use for entertainment; CDs, cassette tapes, and books. And each other. They rarely worried or dwelled on when any such thing would run dry. When the time came for them to stop, they would stop, in one way or another.

     They encountered no one. There had been no one to encounter as far as they knew for some time. The last settlement with people in it they had passed had been weeks ago. They had stopped to speak and chat. Such an small thing had been an enthralling occurence as they spent hours there, speaking. Simple things were mighty now.

     There was no destination, simply a direction. Forward. There were no rules on which path they took, so long as they never allowed themselves to be swayed in turning backwards. The only exception to this was in such occasions in which there was no other option. At times their bearing was south, and other times west. Landscape changed as they traveled. The number of days that had passed since before was uncountable to them. There was no need to count, as the number of days behind them might as well be as endless as the number of days before them.

     As far as they were concerned, they were the only ones left in each other's world, until proven otherwise. The only thing they could do is hope that should they be proven wrong, that such a time be pleasant. Beyond that, everything else was gone. There was the world around them, and each other. Everyone else was had gone away some time ago.

     Cities had fallen, empires and governments with them. Their people for the most part had passed, as had their time. An inevitable end, foreseen in one way in another by fiction or those willing to believe such things could be true. The details no longer mattered.

     In their wake, nature returned, triumphant in a battle many liked to claim it never was fighting. Since it was nature's world once again, it was nature's place to make laws, and decide what such a place should appear, and in some long standing court that no one human could understand, it ruled that mankind's mark should be removed over time. Lost to the ages and reclaimed in the name of nature. Slow as it had been, nature's conquest was without anyone to stop it.

     Yet none of that mattered to him. This was his time, and his time was spent with the dark of the night. The world was so different in the dark. Not the dark that those from before had known, the dark littered with at least some small splash of light from a streetlight or a passing vehicle, no. This was true darkness. His one guide and aid in such were the headlights of the vehicle, forever set to their high beams. No one would cross their paths to require him to lower them. This light might as well have been his link to life itself. If he was to travel forward, he needed the light. The light allowed him to see the road and the old markings that adorned it, their laws no longer mattering.

     Every now and then they would pass a sign, its lettering illuminated for a moment, long enough for him read. The last one had told them that they were now moving through what had been Tennessee, and presently he found himself winding his way through the streets of what had once been Clarksville. Around him stood nothing more than shells of what had once been mighty structures, now long abandoned.

     Vines now stretched over them, invading their innards through windows that had been left open, or doors that stood ajar. He had to squint to be able to see such in the dark, but even if he could not see them he would have known such was true. It was true everywhere else, and this city was not special enough to be saved from that fate.

     The buildings proved to be an interesting point that nature unwittingly made. The human race had created so much, in spite of or alongside nature, yet nature was the one that would last, whose mark would be the one that mattered. Nature's devices did not need nature itself to operate them, to live in them, to make use of them. They continued on, part of a larger scheme, whereas its counterpart's lived to serve only its creator and nothing more. If they served nature, it was simply so that they could feed back into the maker in the long run.

     Noise drifted quietly from the speakers, barely beating out the sound of the engine. Music was one of his few other companions in the night. Tonight he was joined by the message that in the end everyone wanted power in the world, to rule it. A small smirk pulled at his lips. What an outdated concept. During the day he had the companion of her, and together they had other companions in the way of the stories they told each other, or those they pulled out of books, but those might as well have been in another world, in another life.

     Before him was nothing but darkness, but it was not as simple as that. There was so much more there, so much more that he couldn't see. It could be anything as far as he knew. What was to say that there was simply these buildings here, but not something so much more amazing beyond them? Things he might not see, but could never disprove in their existence. The number of things that could be before them in the night was infinite, and that was why he loved it. Such was a love that she would never understand, much like how he never would understand her infatuation of the morning, so they had both decided long enough to allow themselves to have their affairs with their loves, so long as they returned to each other come day.

     Returning to each other come the day, and knowing who truly mattered in their lives, not the day or the night, but each other, was the first rule of their relationship, the first of two rules. The second rule was to always progress forward, whether into the new morning, or the dark night. He adhered to both rules with no objection, and when it was his turn to do the latter, he knew he did such appearing as a lone beacon in the night.

     A single torch bearer moving forward not just with the light of the vehicle, but the light of those who had came before, whose only belief was to move forward, and ignore the opposite.