I sort of went off the deep end with this one. Oops. A Zombie Apocalypse AU. Content warning: Death. Implied violence.
Even though it was impossible to forget, Mike was sure to keep his memories close, a constant reminder of all that they had lost right under his fingers. He could feel the notches in the worn wood each time he picked up his bat. They burned his fingertips each time he swung to save his own life. Five marks scratched into the handle of the weapon he held close at all times. Five marks he stared at without fail each night before fitful sleep took him.
Five memories that he’d rather not have, but that he’d never allow himself to leave behind.
The first notch was for his father, carved several days after the world Mike had once known fell apart. The news had broken at mid-afternoon and the phone lines were immediately useless. No matter how many times Karen, frustrated to tears, punched in the number to Ted’s office, she got nothing more than the buzzing of a dead line. Ted had not come home that evening. Or the next day. Or the next. After that, Hopper suggested they assume the worst.
Mike ran his fingers over the second notch and felt a thick lump grow in his throat. Hopper.
They would never have made it out of Hawkins without him and it had been critical for them to leave the town. Hopper never explained why, but Mike figured it was safe to accept that he knew something they didn’t. After taking on a job at the Lab, Hopper always seemed to know something they didn’t. Mike would never forget the look on his face; the set expression of fierce determination. He’d never forget the words on his lips; Go. Now. Uttered with such untroubled satisfaction and surety that they had done just that.
Mike pressed into the second notch and held in a sigh. Was it horrible he had cried when carving a mark for the Chief when his eyes had been dry for his father?
The third notch was the worst. Mike couldn’t touch it. He could only look, his gaze hard and his chest tight as it had been when he carved it.
Dustin had never been one for this world and Mike suspected that, after several weeks of grotesque horrors, he just gave up. In retrospect, Mike believed he had seen it in Dustin’s eyes for a long while and wondered if he should have said something. Could he have changed something?
He tried not to dwell on those thoughts, as they always led to the question Mike dreaded most. Am I cut out for this world? Lucas was tough as nails and determined. Will had experienced hell and survived once, of course he could do it again. Max was fearless, smart, and quick. And El…El could protect herself. Her entire life had been spent learning to endure. In himself, Mike saw none of the things he saw in his friends.
Yeah, the third notch was the worst. Everyone had looked at each other in shocked, horrified silence until Jonathan had stepped forward, tears in his eyes. Mike had to turn away into El’s shoulder, his hands coming up to shield his ears while El whispered comforting words to him.
Jonathan. He was notch number four. He had left camp one day with Steve and had never come back. Steve returned with a trunk full of canned goods salvaged from a store eighteen miles out and a glassy look in his eyes. No one said anything as the car door slammed shut and Steve cut a harsh path to Joyce’s tent, his feet throwing up dust as they dragged along the dry ground.
Steve got reckless after that. Detached and impulsive, he was notch number five. It was Nancy who stepped forward that time, but there were no tears in her angry eyes. Mike noticed, days later, the same glassy and distant expression on her face that he had seen on Steve’s and Mike worried that his sister would become notch number six.
He wouldn’t let that happen.
“We don’t have to do this,” Lucas placed a hand firmly on her wrist and looked at her earnestly, his imploring eyes meeting hers, hard and cold.
“We do,” El said hoarsely. She shook free of Lucas’s grip and watched him sink back against the wall, defeated, before she placed the knife against the wood. She felt numb, her mind detached from her body as her hand began to mechanically scratch a sixth notch into the handle of the bat.
Horrible-fateful-story-of-fateful horrible-fate time
[SPOILERS FOR HEART OF THORNS STORY]
So way back when I first start playing gw2, I make my first character Ailex Decidua, a sylvari engie. as I’m going through the PS for the first time accompanied by my friend & mmo-mentor Bean I get to the part where you have to wield Caladbolg to kill that lich. Being a baby pistol engie and used to ranging everything, I did not take to caladbolg’s slow and cumbersome skills, and spent the whole story instance roasting it and calling it stupid names. When the instance was finally over I felt like, god, finally, I hope I NEVER have to see that freaking sword EVER again. To my relief caladbolg leaves me well enough alone, only coming up in conversation every once in a while to the tune of “heh, remember caladbolg? man that sword sucked. glad I only had to use it that once. lmao”
anyway. Later of course comes CLORE ISLAND and I meet trahearne (bean: ”you met trahearne already don’t you remember? earlier in your story” me: “no? Idon’t remember that? also his face is freaky looking?”) and I’m all set to begin roasting him as well, because bean warned me about his controversial position in the story. However at some point, some checkpoint bugs and the scenario stalls, and as I’m yakkety-saxing around looking for a solution I notice that trahearne has been repeating the same phrase to me, over and over
and that’s the moment I fell in love.
From that point on trahearne could do no wrong in my eyes. Every behavioral programming anomaly, every incorrectly looped idle animation, every melodramatic line delivered as dry as a saltine cracker, only served to deepen my admiration for this beautiful, brave, broken (most of the time, literally, broken) ugly tree man who probably smells. I’d given myself away completely to being a supporting character in his story, even if just so I could continue to hear as many of his endearing badly-timed/tonally-inappropriate combat interjections as possible. HOWEVER when he was bequeathed Caladbolg, my bane, I had to laugh at that like “haha you both are terrible and unhelpful, you deserve eachother. But seriously keep that thing away from me”
so fast forward again a few years, HoT is about to come out and I’m bouncing like hot damn I can’t wait to rescue trahearne in the jungle and then marry him and live in a knothole and raise jungle quaggans(?) and swing around on vines together forever while mordremoth eats everyone else on the planet. After LA is rebuilt I notice that some of the NPCs use the same voice actor as trahearne so I think wooOOHOO? that means trahearne will have speaking roles in HoT. Ailex’s Happily Ever After: Confirmed.
Well it’s finally finished! My GW2 character sheet. Featuring most of my kids. There are still a few left but those are still developing as characters. Most outfits are based from their ingame model!
I’ll be posting a separate sheet for each and then like some charter to how they connect to another. If you have any questions about them now feel free to drop an ask! I’ll be happy to answer all your questions~
Thank you Anet for letting me make such cool characters and meeting lovely people! <3
**please check the full view as well tumblr is killing the image ;3;
This is my guardian Skikru and her trusty Caladbolg Orchida! She uses this greatsword a lot because it reminds her of Trahearne.
💔 * * * Finished not perfect is the key for this. I tried to achieve this unrealistic perfection that I had in my mind and of course, it resulted in me working too long on this piece. But! I learned a lot from this and I’m overall happy with how it turned out.
“Hey Harrington, 3:30. Break time.” Steve looked up to see his coworker Dave slip back into the CCTV room. Steve sighed a breath of relief, grabbing his keys and his I.D. as he got to his feet. “Anything interesting happen on the screens?”
Steve laughed at the question. “It’s Hawkins Lab, Dave. When has anything interesting ever happened in this godforsaken building?”