Chapter 3 - The wild
After leaving the school Ashe headed back home to get ready for the scavenging run
When he was walking down the street he saw a group of police officers heading in the same direction he was
Where are they going? Maybe I shouldn go back home yet there could be an accident or maybe something worse Ashe was overthinking everything right now because of the stress he was under.
However, as he got closer he overheard the officers speak ”why are they calling so many of us to the Drut district ” one of them exclaimed loudly and quickly getting shushed by the others
Ashe could only hear what was now a scolding of the loud officer but his mind was cleared Drut district isn even that close to home so I guess its safe he thought finally hearing some calming news
He then followed the officers to the station then took a train home. The train was very crowded but the cart was made for such crowds. It has state-of-the-art air conditioning so it doesn feel as cramped.
Ashe got off the train and went back home the city at this time was quite a beautiful site. The tall skyscrapers lit up with billboards and office lights the busy walkways and colorful shops lining the first floors of every building.
Ashe however didn care for the view. He thought it was depressing in a way. There was almost no greenery anywhere anymore because people were scared of mutated animals hiding in them. It all felt fake to him as he preferred the more personal life of the outer city
After another stressful walk, he finally arrived back home ”Hello! ” He shouted as he walked in.
”Ashe!! ” A high-pitched scream responded as he heard little footsteps running towards the door
In came in Ashes little brother Roy who quickly wrapped around his brothers leg
He was only six so he was still quite short so it didn bother Ashe too much
”Hey buddy ” Ashe responded like he was greeting a dog in fact he even started to pet him on the head.
”Dinner is still going to take a while ” He heard his mom say from the kitchen.
”Thats okay, thanks! ” He replied while going towards his room.
On his way to his room, he bumped into Josh his older brother.
”Hey buddy, slow down, ” Josh said with a smile.
Josh is a straight-A student and Ashe always looked up to him as he is everything he wants to be. Popular, smart and they always hung out together.
Ashe just smiled and waved while walking past his brother to his room. After closing the door he got out of his school uniform and into more athletic clothes and a hoodie. Coming back out he started chatting with his family in the living room. However, the conversations quickly turned a sour note.
”Why are you dressed like that? Are you going somewhere too? ” his mom asked pointing out his clothes.
”What do you mean by oo? ” Ashe asked surprised completely forgetting the rest of her question
”Ill just take that as a yes. ” she sighed and after a short break continued talking with a sad tone ”Your brother is also going somewhere tonight ”.
e making it seem like something shady ” Josh responded with a small chuckle. ”Im just going to work on a group project with a friend ”. He continued while turning toward Ashe. ”And you? ”
”oh Im just going ….. ” after a short pause Ashe came up with an excuse ”just going to meet up with some friends too, ” he said trying to suppress the nervousness in his voice.
”What a shame, I guess its just You and me tonight, ” said Mom towards Roy while coming out of the kitchen. ”Now help me set the table, ” she said to the group of boys with a smile.
It was a very peaceful dinner and it helped Ashe forget all the troubles he had.
He loved his family and they loved him and thats all that mattered at the moment.
But the moment the last piece of food disappeared from his plate reality came crashing back down.
Ashe went to help his mom with the dishes and with a somber tone said his goodbyes.
He left the house onto the busy evening streets.
Theres no reason to drag this out Ashe thought to himself as he rushed towards the train station.
The scavengers usually met up in the outer zone of the city. The outer zone is an area between the main city wall and the city border wall. This zone usually has cheaper housing but not as much security, basically being the slums of most cities.
Once Ashe got off at the last station he still had to walk quite a bit before reaching the main city wall. Now came the hard part of getting to the meeting spot.
After getting his documents checked at the city wall checkpoint he got to the outer zone.
Quickly he pulled out his phone and texted the head of the group.
< Im at city wall checkpoint nr.27 >
To his surprise, he got a reply almost immediately.
< wait there someone will pick you up >
Ashe was relieved as there was almost no public transportation in the outer zone and people had to rely on bikes or cars if they were lucky.
Maybe Ill get to ride in a car Ashe thought but quickly he dismissed the idea for being too wishful.
Cars are banned from the city the closest thing you will see there are trucks used by medium-sized private companies who don have the money for an underground tube.
Ashes negative side was correct as a person walked up to him and asked loudly.
”Your Warten right? ”
”Yeah thats me ” Ashe replied confidently to put on a tough act
”Follow me, ” the figure said while motioning to the alleyway right behind them.
Putting on his hoodie to hide his face Ashe started following the person through what felt like a maze of alleys. They finally arrived at a place after 15 minutes of walking.
The place looked like a shoddy bar on the first floor of a two-story building with a couple of neon signs to attract customers.
Buildings with only 2 floors were an incredibly rare sight in the city but the outer zone had an abundance of space so it wasn that uncommon here.
There was even a large amount of completely untouched land on the borders of the outer zone which nobody was foolish enough to try to use for any type of construction.
As Ashe entered the old-school bar he was taken to a table with five people discussing something. As he got closer he would catch the attention of the table.
”And heres your scout, ” said the man in the middle of the group.
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