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Private Lost Lydia

Discussion in 'Centria' started by Lydia, Sep 23, 2019.

  1. Lydia

    Lydia The Walking Dead

    Posts:
    18
    Gender:
    Female
    Race:
    Human
    18 September y109
    The Ruby Ranch
    @The Governor

    Lydia scooped up a handful of snow and shaped it into a ball quickly. With an actual grin on her face, she spun around and gently tossed it at the nearest person, as another snowball landed on her shoulder. When she glanced over to see who had thrown it, something grabbed her legs and pulled her down. She looked down, expecting to see a walker or one of her people disguised as one. There were only powerfully strong, creepy black cords. "Get back! Get the kids away!" She screamed as the cords dragged her down into the ground. She couldn't let anyone else get hurt because of her. Not again.

    Lydia was pulled down though the earth and back up again. The cords deposited her among an array of windmills forcefully, knocking her head against the base of one of them. She stood up slowly, not bothering to wipe away any of the dirt that had collected on her during her strange trip or the blood that was trickling down the side of her face. Her gaze was focused on the line of windmills in front of her. The sound should be attracting every walker around, and yet there was no sign of them. There was no snow on the ground either. It made no sense.

    Lydia found a road and followed it, thinking she might have a better chance of finding her way back to Alexandria that way. "Daryl?" She called out. She had to let him know she was okay. "Michonne?" There was no answer.

    Lydia wandered for hours, trying different roads and staying clear of the strange towns and farms. There was no need to drag another group into the mess with her mother. She decided she was hopelessly lost and told herself it was for the best. Everyone would be safer without her around and she only had to fend for herself. She felt her cheek gently. A few bruises, but the bleeding had stopped. No big deal. Water should be her first priority. Her throat was already dry.

    With that thought in mind, Lydia followed the sound of farm animals until she found a ranch. She hopped over the fence of the sheep pen and walked to the water trough. Her every step was careful as not to alarm the animals. Cupping her hands, she scooped up some water and brought her hands to her lips. Just as she was about to take a sip, she heard someone approach. She looked up and stared at him for a moment. A complete stranger. That would have made her run or attack in the past. But Henry, Daryl and Connie had been strangers once too.

    "I was thirsty." Lydia mumbled. "Sorry."
     
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  2. The Governor

    The Governor The Walking Dead
    You kill or you die.

    Posts:
    1,819
    Occupation:
    Rancher
    Race:
    Weretiger
    Alignment:
    Lawful Evil
    Directory:
    link
    [​IMG]

    The Governor emerged from the barn, his weathered engineer boots crunching grit. His long walking coat billowed in the cool wind, the black fabric matching the black of his eye patch. He set his face into a cold, wary frown, jaw tight with tension and distrust.

    He’d been working on his cardboard model of the ranch when the dark furred greyhound had padded up to him, nosing at his hand with his long skinny muzzle to warn him. Somebody was trespassing on their ranch, threatening the safety of their community.

    Resting his forearm on the butt of his holstered gun, he prowled after the greyhound, Ezra, rounding the side of a wooden building. Philip jerked to a stop at the sight of a scrawny young girl with messy hair and shabby clothes, bent over the water trough in the sheep pen. He figured she was fifteen, maybe sixteen, tops. Huh. He would’ve figured she was some feral shifter kid, but then she spoke to him. That sorry even sounded sincere rather than sarcastic or sassy.

    “S’awright. But you could’ve just knocked on the front door,” Philip chided her gently, his smile faint and dry. “You don’t need to drink from the trough like an animal.”

    That was extra droll, ‘cos she could’ve been half of somethin’, but his gut told him that was unlikely. He’d spent the last nine months living with shifter folk, so tended to recognize ‘em by sight these days. She didn’t have that wild, unpredictable air or aura that he’d come to associate with ‘em… With himself. Still, there was somethin’ animal in her hunch. Maybe she hung around with shifter folk? Although he would’ve noticed another community in this area…

    Ezra turned his long, narrow head, looking sedately between the two of ‘em.
     
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  3. Lydia

    Lydia The Walking Dead

    Posts:
    18
    Gender:
    Female
    Race:
    Human
    Lydia's eyes narrowed in suspicion. Just knocked on the door? No one did that with strangers anymore. Even between the communities that knew each other, there were guards on the walls to greet them before allowing anyone inside.

    "I don't know you or your people. Or what traps you have for the walkers, the dead ones." She muttered and realized she needed to be more careful with every word she spoke. Walker was the term used by the people brave enough to protect her. It felt like letting them down to even hint at their existence. She had to act like she'd never known them to keep them safe. "You don't have walls. You must have somethin' else." It took more than a gun and a dog to protect a ranch with live animals.

    Lydia shrugged. "Besides, I'm on my own. Gotta do everything like the animals to survive." She was telling herself as much as him. She'd have to take the lessons learned from her pack and put them to use. She would use a little of what she'd learned from Henry and Daryl too, just enough to not be evil like her mother. She couldn't expect to make friends or have fun anymore. Her mother had been right. That didn't last. Still, she stayed put instead of running from the man in front of her.
     
    The Governor likes this.
  4. The Governor

    The Governor The Walking Dead
    You kill or you die.

    Posts:
    1,819
    Occupation:
    Rancher
    Race:
    Weretiger
    Alignment:
    Lawful Evil
    Directory:
    link
    [​IMG]

    He was silent a long beat, taken aback by an all too familiar term. Walkers. Rick, Andrea, little Mee Shone. That’d been their term. The way the girl spoke about traps, about walls, about doing things like animals to survive suggested she’d come right outta Georgia.

    “Y’mean biters,” he said, tilting his head to line her up in the center of his vision. “We don’t tend to get ‘em around these parts. Bandits. Terrorists. It’s usually them. You sure you’re on your own?” There was a trace of accusation lurking in that question.

    What if she was part of Rick’s group, hmm? What if they’d sent her here to spy on him? To ambush him, burn his new community to the goddamn ground? It’d been an age since he’d crossed paths with anybody from the prison group. Andrea didn’t count, ‘cos she was on his side now. Well… Now… Or so he liked to think.

    He clenched his jaw, a twitch threatening to tug at his stubbly cheek. Just thinking about that group, about little Mee Shone, caused a long buried anger to burn hot inside his chest.

    “You with Rick?” he asked outright, studyin’ her face with the intensity of a cop interrogating a murder suspect. He was expecting to see a spark of recognition…
     
  5. Lydia

    Lydia The Walking Dead

    Posts:
    18
    Gender:
    Female
    Race:
    Human
    Lydia stared at the governor with a level of confusion that might make one question if they were speaking the same language. There were walkers everywhere. It was the way the world was now. Bandits and terrorists were old world terms; she barely understood them. She'd grown up in a world without conventional laws.

    "What's so special about these parts?" She asked and tried to think of a way to describe her mother's people without letting him know of her connection to them. "By terrorists, you mean the ones that play dress up? Pretending they're biters?" Dress up was a term she remembered from her very early childhood - having tea parties with her dad until her mom caught them and yelled at him about being a man.

    "Yeah, I'm sure. I had a group once, a long time ago, when I was only this high..." Lyda gestured with her hand to the height of a young child. "They left me behind because I couldn't keep up." She let a bit of anger into her voice and turned it to sadness as she spoke, to help sell the lie. The story came easy to her. She'd seen it happen to other children in her mother's pack. "They were right to do it. No group would want me." She wanted the stranger to see her as weak and non-threatening, especially with the way he was getting angry.

    Lydia gave him a genuinely blank look. With time, she might have made the connection to RJ's full name or to the bits and pieces she'd overheard about Rick Grimes. At the moment, she was too tired and lost to think of it. "I told you I'm alone."
     
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  6. The Governor

    The Governor The Walking Dead
    You kill or you die.

    Posts:
    1,819
    Occupation:
    Rancher
    Race:
    Weretiger
    Alignment:
    Lawful Evil
    Directory:
    link
    [​IMG]

    He scowled at her question, the lines deepening in his forehead. People pretending they were biters? What the hell was that supposed to mean?

    “No,” he rumbled. “I mean the ones pretending they’re humans.”

    That was a pretty hypocritical thing to say on his part… But what the hell? People dressing up as biters? She getting confused with Halloween?

    Her story about being left behind had him clenching his jaw, as well as narrowing his one good eye at the empty air where she’d gestured the height of a small child. He was thinking about his little girl, imagining her tryin’ to survive in a group without her mom, her dad, too tiny to keep up with ‘em on supply runs, to fight biters or bandits, to pull her weight. She would’ve been a burden on a community that was likely short of food, meds, blankets.

    A part of Philip buried down deep was relieved when Rick’s name produced a blank expression, ‘cos it meant he wouldn’t have to treat this stranger like a terrorist. Least not yet, anyhow… He still had more questions to ask…

    “You got a name? You want somewhere to sit? Rest those legs?” he asked, nodding in the direction of the dorms. “C’mon. I’ll rustle up some food, too.”
     
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  7. Lydia

    Lydia The Walking Dead

    Posts:
    18
    Gender:
    Female
    Race:
    Human
    Lydia stared at him. They could mean the same people. Her mother could have hidden in his group, wearing one of his friend's faces and pretending she was still human inside. There could be another border, in another direction, with heads on pikes. How far did her mother's territory extend? It almost made her miss the days when her mother was nomadic, wandering all round without any sense of owning land.

    "I'm Lydia." Lydia answered. Sharing that information couldn't hurt. Her mother wouldn't call her by name, even if she was looking for her. She'd simply refer to her as her daughter. She might as well be calling her property. "What about you? Do your people still use names?" She watched his reaction as closely as he had been watching her, over the mention of the Rick guy. As far she knew, the only group that had given up names was her mother's people.

    Lydia nodded at the offer of a place to rest and food. She could still remember Daryl encouraging her to eat on the day she left the kingdom. She needed to care of herself now that he wasn't there to remind her to do it. She didn't want to completely slip back into her old ways. "What's the catch?"
     
    The Governor likes this.
  8. The Governor

    The Governor The Walking Dead
    You kill or you die.

    Posts:
    1,819
    Occupation:
    Rancher
    Race:
    Weretiger
    Alignment:
    Lawful Evil
    Directory:
    link
    [​IMG]

    Still use names? He twitched his lips in bemusement. Why wouldn’t they use names?

    “Philip,” he offered simply. He never liked giving his real name to folk, but it was a useful tool in these kindsa situations to build trust. Or least, the illusion of trust.

    He began to lead the way to the dorms, snorting dryly at her blunt, cynical question. Asked like a true jaded survivor of the Turn. “No catch. We just love helping out strangers in need.”

    As long as they helped ‘em right back in return… You had to pay the bill, hmm?

    They passed a few members of the community along their way to the dorms, who kept their distance, glowering at the girl, Lydia. The Governor had trained his people good, giving ‘em a healthy amount of distrust towards outsiders, especially ones that smelt plain, vanilla, human.

    He picked Scarlet Dorm, ‘cos it was girls only. Some folk were more comfortable being with their own sex. Not him. He’d rather spend time flirting with meek ladies than butt heads with other dominant, egotistical men. Course to keep things awkward, you got dominant, egotistical ladies and meek men, too. The lines between genders faded more and more every day.

    Philip paused in the doorway, turning to use his height to stare down at Lydia. “This is a civilian area. I’m gonna need you to hand over any weapons.”
     
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  9. Lydia

    Lydia The Walking Dead

    Posts:
    18
    Gender:
    Female
    Race:
    Human
    Lydia felt slightly reassured. Phillip was a traditional name, not a code. The little amused tug of amusement on his face suggested that he'd never had any encounter with her mother.

    Lydia shook her head, the reassurance fading. It felt like he was hiding a big secret from her. There was always a catch and that kind of selfless love was extinct. People like that simply didn't survive. Even the nicest remaining communities debated and held a vote before letting her in. "You must want somethin'." Everyone did.

    Lydia showed a little fear at the glowers and then looked down. She was seriously outnumbered if this went bad. She needed to look weak, keep them from seeing her as a threat. It wouldn't be hard. It was the truth. As they kept moving, she occasionally looked up just long enough to get an idea of the layout and which direction to run if needed.

    Lydia back up at him. "Ain't got any." If she had carried weapons with her, she wouldn't have attempted suicide by walker or by Carol. When she left Kingdom, she told herself that she didn't need weapons because she had a group. She had Daryl. Of course, she suspected that the group wouldn't have trusted her with any. She had hoped that in Alexandria she'd start to train with a staff and be like Henry. That felt like it had been a pointless dream now.

    "I'll prove it." She turned all of her pockets inside out, showing him that they were empty. She then unzipped her jacket and pulled it off, holding it out for him to inspect. Next, she started tugging her sweater off. She was wearing layers underneath to keep her warm from the storm she'd been in. It would take a while, but if needed she'd strip down. She was raised to be an animal; she had no need for modesty.
     
    The Governor likes this.
  10. The Governor

    The Governor The Walking Dead
    You kill or you die.

    Posts:
    1,819
    Occupation:
    Rancher
    Race:
    Weretiger
    Alignment:
    Lawful Evil
    Directory:
    link
    [​IMG]

    Philip accepted the jacket from Lydia, inspecting every seam, every stitch, every stretch of fabric with the clinical detachment of a scientist. He even felt it with his fingertips in case she’d hidden somethin’ within, but there were no incriminating bulges of knives or guns.

    With a cool, impassive expression, he watched her strip away the layers. She was like a goddamn onion. He wasn’t gonna let her get down to the skin, though. She was too close to his daughter’s age. Nor would he have allowed a grown woman. Not outta a sense of decorum, but ‘cos he would wanna keep up a good relationship with ‘em. Having ‘em strip buck naked on a goddamn doorstep, with people nearby, would not sow the seeds to an amiable partnership.

    He raised a hand, indicating that he wanted her to stop. “S’awright, kid. I believe you.”

    The Governor led the way into Scarlet Dorm, taking her up to the top. Via the stairs, not the elevator. He hated those goddamn metal cages. The rooms up there were all empty, aside from one that was taken by a general ranch hand. Donna. She would’ve been out right now, tending to the livestock over on the south east fields, so he could carry on his little talk in private with Lydia.

    Philip prowled into the kitchen, nodding at her to sit down at a broad wooden table. The polished surface gleamed in the sunlight, which streamed in through the windows. He bent to open the fridge, nodding approvingly at the contents. Donna wouldn’t mind him stealing a couple things.

    “You want a sandwich?” he asked the girl levelly. “Or somethin’ hot?”
     
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  11. Lydia

    Lydia The Walking Dead

    Posts:
    18
    Gender:
    Female
    Race:
    Human
    Lydia gathered up her discarded clothes. Some of them were dirtier now from having been dropped on the ground by her. She didn't mind; it was all a part of life. She followed him up the stairs, wondering if that was another security measure in itself. It would never have occurred to her that there were working elevators, the height simply had certain advantages. He could look through a window to see if she had more people hiding out there somewhere and it forced anyone else to come up the same stairs. Not that it mattered, she was alone.

    Lydia took a seat as directed and watched him carefully. "Whatever's easiest." She replied. It was polite for her. She'd never been taught manners. Not being demanding and not trying to dominate was the way she knew to show gratitude to others. Respect meant knowing one's place. Words like please and thank you had no place in a pack of animals. "You really have a working fridge and hot food?" She blurted out a moment later. The communities back home had it too, and it came as a surprise every time she saw that level of convenience. They were parts of a world that was gone and should not exist. He may as well have had a dinosaur stroll through the dorm. It would have made as much sense to her.
     
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  12. The Governor

    The Governor The Walking Dead
    You kill or you die.

    Posts:
    1,819
    Occupation:
    Rancher
    Race:
    Weretiger
    Alignment:
    Lawful Evil
    Directory:
    link
    [​IMG]

    “Well… Now… I got a hankering for somethin’ hot,” he said, flashing the young woman a broad grin. He collected up some bacon and eggs, setting ‘em down on the kitchen worktop.

    After his wife’s death, he’d used to cook bacon and eggs every weekend mornin', his little girl sitting at the table, like Lydia was doin’ now. It’d provided great opportunities to talk, about school, her friends, recounting special moments with mom. That’d sure changed after the Turn.

    The Governor smiled in bemusement at Lydia’s question, peeling banded strips of bacon out the packet, then laying them across the skillet. He turned on the gas, a low hissing filling the kitchen. Medium heat. One of the mistakes most folk made was to cook bacon too fast. You wanted it on medium heat. Hell. That was true about life in general. Folk wanted things too damn fast. Often, it paid off to take your sweet time working towards getting ‘em.

    “That’s right. We got fridges to keep food cold, ovens to make it hot,” he said amiably, enjoying the quiet spitting and crackling of the bacon. The rich, smoky smell of it was heavenly. “So do the rest of the communities in this area. You haven’t been here long, huh?”

    He took out a glass bowl, cracking the eggs over the rim as easy as rotten biter skulls. The brains that oozed out weren’t gray and sludgy, but the bright color of sunlight.
     
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  13. Lydia

    Lydia The Walking Dead

    Posts:
    18
    Gender:
    Female
    Race:
    Human
    Lydia watched him cook. "That's bacon, right? From a pig?" She asked, genuinely asking the question. She was used to eating animals she could hunt in the wild like squirrels, rats, snakes, maybe a rabbit or fox if she'd been really luck. She'd heard one of the other members of her pack call a squirrel - a tree chicken, and had no idea of what a chicken was at the time. She only remembered seeing meat from farm animals at the kingdom and was still learning all the different kinds. She recognized eggs more easily, though not as being from a chicken.

    "I don't think so?" Lydia still wasn't certain where here was, only that she was a long way from where she had been before. "There were these things, vines I guess, I got caught up in the somehow, and then ended up in front of a windmill." She admitted, knowing she must have sounded like a lunatic. At least a crazy person wouldn't be perceived as threatening. "I walked around for a long time, then I found this place." She wanted to ask him to name which communities were nearby. Maybe she wasn't as far from Alexandria as she had thought. "There are more communities?" She asked instead, hoping he might volunteer more information on his own. "Are they like this with food and power?"
     
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  14. The Governor

    The Governor The Walking Dead
    You kill or you die.

    Posts:
    1,819
    Occupation:
    Rancher
    Race:
    Weretiger
    Alignment:
    Lawful Evil
    Directory:
    link
    [​IMG]

    “That’s right,” he repeated with another smile of bemusement. “From a pig.”

    Goddamn. She must’ve spent her short life under a rock. The Governor wasn’t surprised to hear that she hadn’t long joined ‘em in Pandora. He would’ve assumed she was from some backwards ass version of his world, that didn't have bacon, if she hadn’t used the magic word back there at the water trough.

    Walkers. Without a doubt, she was from his own walker - biter - infested world.

    “They do,” he replied simply. “We got towns and cities, too. Nearest town is Arco.”

    He turned away from the bowl of egg yolks, eyeing the girl thoughtfully. How the hell did he explain Pandora? She was gonna think he was nuts… Or she’d go nuts… Or maybe both would happen. Philip didn't hesitate ‘cos he cared about her health and comfort, but 'cos he didn’t want the goddamn inconvenience and headache of a potentially loud, teary, panicking kid on his ranch.

    “Not long ago,” he began carefully, still keeping his one good eye on Lydia. “We would’ve laughed at the idea of the dead rising and eating the living. Y’think you could accept other stuff like that just as easily? Vampires? Shape shifters? Aliens?” He paused a beat, running his tongue over his lips, his teeth, as he delivered his point: “Alternate dimensions?”
     
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  15. Lydia

    Lydia The Walking Dead

    Posts:
    18
    Gender:
    Female
    Race:
    Human
    Lydia looked at him in disbelief. Bacon was one thing, people could raise pigs without needing too much from the world before walkers. Towns, let alone, cities were entirely different. Impossible. "You're teasing me. Any cities are overrun. There's too many dead in 'em." Even her mother hadn't ventured into them in years. "Even a town's got to be about to fall apart. Places like that can't last."

    "Not long ago?" Lydia repeated back as a question. This guy must be really old if he thought the years of the undead was a short time. "I don't even remember a time without the dead walkin' around." It wasn't entirely true. While she had been young when it started, her memories of the old world had been manipulated by her mother to the point that she was unsure of what was true.

    Lydia's disbelief turned to confusion. As a young child, she hadn't been told stories of fantasy creatures or alternate dimensions. Her mother would have found them pointless and her father wouldn't have wanted to scare her at such a young age. She never learned to read and with the end of the modern world, she knew nothing of fiction other than that one movie night.

    "I don't know those words." Lydia admitted. It was probably some fancy talk like Ezekiel used. She never understood why people had to make life more complicated. Walkers were bad enough. They could all speak normally.