Dust billowed across the desert and the weathered, lonesome road winding through it. The crumbling and decrepit pavement hadn't been used in years, and without maintenance, had deteriorated to practical non-existence thanks to the combined forces of old age and the elements. The night sky, an inky blue and filled with countless twinkling stars and a mother moon, seemed to stretch into infinity in the boundless desert while a faint haze from the lingering heat in the sands seemed to obscure the point at which sky and earth met on the horizon.
Two solitary figures walked along the solemn road, wandering with no real destination yet determined not to return to their old homes. The first, a hulk of a man that looked to be a few inches short of being seven feet tall, thick-framed and well-muscled. His dark skin, rugged features, and the strange runes and symbols tattooed on the right side of his face and his arms seemed to suggest that he was some tribal from a far-off land; however, the look in his steel-grey eyes and the composure and dignity he carried himself with suggested a gentleman intellectual. He adjusted the sizable pack and on his back as he removed his cowboy-style hat, briefly rubbing his bald head with a gloved hand before deciding to keep his hat off for the night.
His companion, who appeared to be a bit younger than him, seemed to be the polar opposite. The very androgynous-looking young man stood only a few inches above five feet in height with a thin and vaguely girlish build, which was nearly completely hidden by his loose clothing and duster. Needless to say, he was absolutely dwarfed in comparison to his massive comrade. His abnormally pale skin stuck out against his shaggy and slightly unkempt chocolate-brown hair, even moreso in the moonlight. His stride was similar to that of a man on the run- unobtrusive, trying not to draw attention to himself. A strong gust of wind blew across the desert plain, stirring up the loose sand and dust on the ground. He tilted his hat - identical to his partner's - forward a bit and shielded his dark green eyes from the rising dust.
The larger of the two glanced down at his companion and placed a hand on his shoulder, as if to steady him in case of a fall. It was a normal thing for them, now, this affectionate and protective gesture. It has been for the past three years. The two always looked out for each other, and knew each other so well that they could go miles without a word between them, and still know exactly how the other was doing.
"Charles," the massive man addressed his companion, his voice deep and gruff, looking intently at the boy, "Do you need to rest?"
Charles snickered a bit, before meeting his partner's gaze with his own, ". . .You don't miss a single detail, do you Mai'iq?" He took Mai'iq's hand into his own and just held onto it a bit. "I'd like to go maybe another couple miles or so, find some sort of shelter," he reasoned.
Mai'iq simply nodded in acknowledgement, and the two continued on without another word for another five miles. Eventually, the smoke and glow of the campfire and silhouette of the abandoned gas station became visible from a safe distance. The two tensed slightly, and took cover under the shroud of night. Mai'iq focused on the group, and the runes around his eye briefly and dimly glowed before returning to normal just as quickly. He nodded at Charles, letting him know it was safe. Whomever those people were, it was safe to say they were neither members Guillotine nor the Alexandrias' goons.
"Just travelers," Mai'iq said rather bluntly, "A few adults, a child, and what seems to be a velociraptor."
Charles had to stifle a bit of a laugh at that last bit. No matter how absurd, Mai'iq always stated things as they were, and was always blunt and to-the-point about it. ". . .So, safe to approach?" he asked.
"Most likely. And best we do. The child looks injured," Mai'iq replied.
Charles nodded, and straightened his posture. there was no need to fear these people, at least for now. And if they turned out to be hostile. . . Well, he and Mai'iq hadn't been surviving on their good looks alone. Putting on a sociable front, Charles led on and approached the campfire group, glancing briefly at the velociraptor, partially in disbelief that one of those things was still alive and kicking. Then again, he'd seen stranger things.
"Hello, there," he said in his somewhat feminine voice, raising his hand in greeting to the group in general, ". . . Sorry to barge in on everyone like this. We didn't think anyone else was out here, really, other than us."
Charles cleared his throat and shuffled in place a little bit. He didn't seem to adept at socializing, ". . . Anyways, you guys wouldn't mind if we joined you for a bit, would you? We've been trekking through this desert almost all day," he explained, then added half-jokingly, "Plus, it's been a ling while since we've run into anyone that wasn't trying to kill us."
Mai'iq shot a glare at Charles at that last bit, almost as if he were scolding the younger man for joking about such things.
edited 21st Sep '12 1:25:05 PM by Motree
“DAMMIT WHEN I HEAR 'SPACE CQC' ALL I CAN THINK OF IS BIG BOSS WITH A FISHBOWL ON HIS HEAD, STRANGLING AN ASTRONAUT OUTSIDE THE ISS."