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What Remains

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The dull thud of footsteps woke Nicole from her sleep. Another one, she thought, and dragged herself out of the small tent she had set up. The morning air was crisp, and the light came through the trees to create a beautiful scene. Nicole looked around, and sure enough there was a zombie nearing the edge of her current place of refuge. Pulling out her knife and inching closer slowly, she took a deep breath. As soon as she got close enough she plunged the knife into the skull of the creature, all the way down to the hilt. As she did, she felt the all-too-familiar splatter of blood on her hand and arm. Withdrawing the blade, she let the body fall to the ground with a heavy thump.

Taking a moment, she sat down in front of her tent and looked around. This part of the woods really was beautiful, even if it was infested with the dead. She'd seen more in this area then she had seen in any other area of the woods she had been in, actually, but much more spread out. And that was reasonable, because she was in a pretty large stretch of the woods. Which is why Nicole was surprised when she heard a voice yell,

"Hey, that was my kill!"

Nicole turned around quickly, and found the source of the noise. Walking towards her were two women. One was clad in a leather jacket and wielding a rather large revolver with a very long barrel, which had to cripple the aim. The other woman was in a pair of bright blue high-waisted pants and a crop top that read "shorty's".

"Are you stupid?" Nicole hissed, standing up, "don't make so much noise, you'll attract more of them!"

"Good," shouted the one in leather, "more to kill."

"She doesn't mean that," said the one in the crop top. As the two drew nearer, Nicole noticed that the second woman had a shotgun strapped to her back. When the two of them reached Nicole, the leather-clad one waved her revolver in the general direction of the body on the ground.

"You took my kill," she stated again and Nicole nodded in a way that she hoped read that she didn't really care. She realized suddenly that even if the revolver the first woman was carrying couldn't aim well with how long the barrel was, Nicole couldn't very well defend herself against that shotgun with a knife. The second woman spoke again:

"We only wanted the backpack off of him," she stated, and Nicole looked at the dead thing lying in the dirt. There was, in fact, a backpack on him that Nicole hadn't noticed.

"Oh," was all she said, and she looked back at the two women. She stopped for a second, taking in both of their features.

The first woman, the loud one, the one who carried the revolver, had darker hair. She was somewhat attractive, and had dimples that appeared whenever her expression changed.

The second woman, the shorter one, the one with a shotgun, had light brown hair that was quite thick and long. Her face was kind, she had a rather sharp, strong jawline, and her eyes were a beautiful hazel color. She was gorgeous, and Nicole felt a lump form in her throat the longer she looked at her. Instinct kicked in, and she smiled her flirtiest smile.

"If you're gonna take that, you should at least let me introduce myself," she spoke to the shorter woman. "Nicole Haught." She extended her hand for the other woman to shake it. She did, and Nicole felt a slight relief.

"I'm Waverly. Earp- Waverly Earp. And this is my sister Wynonna." She gestured to the other woman, who shrugged and glared at Nicole.

"Pleasure," she said, and bent to pull the backpack off of the zombie. "We're just here for the backpack, not to make friends. . ." Her voice trailed off as she stared at Nicole's tent. "Officer," she finished and stood, slinging the backpack over her shoulder.

"How did you-" Nicole started, but then remembered that she had her uniform sitting on the stump by her tent.

"Deputy," she said. She figured she would at least correct the woman. "I'm a sheriff's deputy."

"Well. Whoopdie doo, deputy dimples, we've got places to be, so bye," wynonna took a few steps forward past Nicole, and then Waverly spoke, stopping her.

"Wynonna," she said, and then moved to stand next to her sister. "We need more people right, so, why not her?" Nicole could hear them even though it was obvious they thought she couldn't.

"She's a cop, first of all," Wynonna started, but Waverly interjected,

"Your boyfriend is an FBI agent,"

"Was," Wynonna corrected, "and second of all, she doesn't seem to like me much. You, on the other hand. . ."

"Oh, hush, she was being friendly," Waverly replied. She spun around to face Nicole, and before Wynonna could object, said, "we have a group- a camp of sorts. You seem to be by yourself, so why don't you come with us?" Nicole almost jumped for joy. A group- more people, sounded worlds better than being by herself. But she was also a bit wary. While Waverly was friendly, Wynonna seemed standoffish and she sort of made Nicole's nerves go up.

Nicole thought for a second. But curiosity and want to get to know Waverly a bit better eventually won out. She nodded, and said, "okay."

"Great," said Waverly, and smiled. Nicole smiled back, and put her knife and her belts "we'll get your shit, hot stuff, we've got a long ways to go," Wynonna stated, with a pointed glare at her sister.

Soon, they were all walking quietly together towards Wynonna and Waverly's camp. Nicolle tried to make conversation with both of them, but Wynonna's answers were rather short and Nicole still got the vibe that she didn't like her. Eventually, she gave up and just talked to Waverly, but she was in no way complaining.

"Don't mind Wynonna, she's like that with everyone," Waverly said after Nicole tried (and failed) again to talk to Wynonna. "she'll warm up to you."

Nicole had noticed that Waverly was very friendly and warm. Honestly, Nicole had been scared of her at first with that shotgun strapped to her back. She was very happy and bubbly, which Nicole had learned in the last few months was hard to be now.

"So, what did you two do? I mean before all of this happened?" Nicole asked. She didn't know how far it was until they reached their destination, but she figured she would at least try to be somewhat entertaining.

"Well, I was a barkeep- bartender, whatever you want to call it, I was that." Waverly answered. "And Wynonna. . . was Wynonna." Nicole furrowed her eyebrows, but didn't bother to ask what that meant. She figured that she was too new to their lives just yet. There was a silence before either of them spoke again, and then Waverly broke it:
"So your name- is 'hot'?"

Nicole chuckled.

"Yeah, it's pronounced like 'hot' but spelled H-A-U-G-H-T." She said.

"Oh, okay. That makes more sense. See, I thought it was a little strange, in my head." Waverly replied. Nicole smiled at her. It was nice to have company again, especially company as nice as Waverly Earp.

"What else?" Nicole inquired, "what's- what's this group of yours like?"

"It's a good group- we all get along and protect eachother and that's what matters," Waverly answered, "Well, get along for the most part." She added.


"What do you mean, 'for the most part'?" Nicole asked. She was curious now.

"Well, we do, really, get along well. It's just that there are issues sometimes. You know, everyone's nerves are high and everything is. . ." Waverly paused and swallowed. "hard. Chaotic, I guess. It's shitty." They both laughed.

"Yeah, it's definitely shitty," Nicole agreed.

"So," Waverly spoke again after a few moments of silence. "Were you with anyone? Before now I mean? Like, were you with a group or just you on your own?" Nicole swallowed. She didn't like talking about this.

"For a while I was with my boss. Old boss now, I guess. But we got separated." She said. "Our camp thing got overrun and he went to get supplies. Never came. Back out."

"Oh," Waverly said, "I'm sorry to hear that. I'm sure he was a great guy."

"He was," Nicole stated. There was another pause.

"The place we've got set up is nice, you'll like it I'm sure," Waverly finally said. Nicole was glad she broke that particular silence.

"Any place is better than an old tent in the middle of the woods," Nicole joked. She trusted that these two's encampment was nice. Waverly seemed like the type of person to tell the truth. They walked for a few more miles, and then came across it. When she saw it, Nicole's mouth fell open.
Holy shit, she thought.
Wynonna leaned against the large gate.

"Welcome to Purgatory," she stated.