We'd been walking for what felt like days through woodland in the heat. Hiking. Never something I was good at but I guess I had to learn. "How much further?" Murphy called, walking next to me, he looked at me as he yelled, "I'm getting kinda thirsty, wonder if we have any water!" He then lowered his tone, "You wouldn't know where there's water, would you princess?"
I looked away from his cold blue eyes, looking at the dry grass under my feet, I knew what he was getting at; the water in my bag. But I was saving that for a real emergency not some potential murder and arsehole with a point to prove.
"Ignoring me?" He said, standing closer to me. He suddenly lurched forward, tripping and stumbling, crashing into a tree to keep him up right. He sharply turned back around, his face flushed and then sharp. I, too, looked back and saw the soldier smiling, "Have a nice trip, Murphy?" He said grinning.
"You asshole!" He yelled, squaring up to him and the others stopped walking, turning round to look. Murphy stood toe to toe with the soldier, "Shove me again, I dare you!" He exclaimed.
He just smiled, "Why what you going to do?
"Stop fighting," Raven tiredly said, she looked at the soldier, "Stop teasing him, Bell."
The soldier, Bell, sighed, "Fine. But he can walk up front with you."
Murphy protested, "No. I'll walk wherever I damn please, you ain't in charge-"
"No, he's not." Raven said, stepping next to him, "I am. So walk with me or keep quiet there or stay behind. Your choice."
Murphy’s face fell, looking away from her eyes with his own going watery. He was looking anywhere but her. Jasper, one of the weed smokers, who had joined the circle surrounding Murphy, Raven, Bellamy and I, was doing the complete opposite; his eyes couldn’t look anywhere but her and I could see his one-track-mind racing. And I agreed, she was pretty. She was slim but buff and her black army outfit complimented her light brown skin, brown hair and brown eyes beautifully. She held her gun on her back and had two more pistols on her belt. She was like Lara Croft. Jasper's eyes scanned over her breasts, to which Raven stopped looking at Murphy and tilted her head to one side as she sat as said, "I know I'm a fucking Goddess, but keep your eyes up here."
Jasper quickly looked away going bright red.
Raven the looked back at Murphy, “So, what’s it going to be, cockroach?”
Murphy’s tone was pained as he said, “I’ll keep quiet.”
And he did. Every once in awhile I’d see his eyes look towards Raven, watching her slight limp as she walked and guilt would cloud his face. Part of me felt sorry for him.
* * *
We were once again walking up the huge hill in the forest. We hadn't seen any dead, which made it seem almost normal, like a school trip or something. But I knew it wouldn't last. "She's scary, huh?" The soldier, Bell, said to me, now walking by my side.
I looked ahead, "That’s Raven, right?"
Bell replied, "Yeah, that's Raven. The other girl," he looked behind us, "And the guy holding Nick up is Thomas, Jasper is his younger brother."
I nodded, "Nice to know." I then looked up at him, "Where are we going? I mean, Murphy is right, people will be getting tired and thirsty and I only have two litres of water. That won't keep us hydrated."
Bell nodded, "I know, not much further."
* * *
He was right. It wasn't much further. We reached a clearing in the woods and the view from the edge of the cliff was both breath taking and saddening. The whole city was smoking with bombs. The military base was overrun with the dead. Everything was gone.
"Gather round!" Bellamy called, the sun just setting. And we did, we all stood in a semi circle facing the three leaders. I managed to squeeze to the front, stood in between Octavia and Alicia, Nick on the right of Alicia, his withdrawal looked almost gone. Murphy stood at the other side of the semi circle and I saw him looking at me. I have no idea what his problem is. It also came to my attention that Octavia was also glaring at Bell.
The sun set and an engine sounded, coming from the trees. We all stood silent. A bus pulled up, two buses to be exact. A girl with black hair and blue eyes got out the first. The girl stood silent, looking at Thomas, who looked away from her gaze. Bellamy introduced her, "So, this is-"
"Teresa," Murphy groaned, "My older sister."
She looked at him, "Nice to see you too." She then looked back at Thomas, but he was looking at the floor and shuffling his feet with his hands in his pockets.
Murphy then sighed, "Right, so have you brought us water because I swear, we're all gonna..." he trailed off when the second bus door opened a familiar face got out, except this face was also new. Alicia shifted awkwardly and pulled her baseball cap over her eyes, Nick also fidgeted. Murphy continued to be an asshole, "In fact I'm that dehydrated, I'm seeing double!"
"Shut it!" The girl yelled at him, "Have you never seen twins before?" She looked Alicia and and Nick, "I'm Lexa and she's Alicia. We dress different, we act different. So you won't confuse us." She then glared at Murphy, "Twins are the least strangest thing in this world, especially now, so keep your jokes and shit to yourself."
"Right, introductions over," Bellamy said, "We have two buses, these are our homes now. Pick a bus."
"Where we going?" Octavia piped up, "You can't just tell us to get on a bus and we will. Where the hell are we going?"
Bellamy sadly said, "Mexico. We think that's where the others went. Or capital city, Washington DC. But we can't be sure. So we'll head to Mexico. Lots of open space and-"
"Wait, hold up," Murphy interrupted, "Why would we want to find them? They locked us up. They left us to die in that prison. So why the hell would we want to go back? I mean, the world is literally ours for the taking. We can make this world our bitch. Whatever the hell we want."
"That's stupid." Lexa rolled her eyes, and her eyes looked at mine, "What are your thoughts, Princess? Mexico? Here? DC? Where did your mom tell you?"
I swallowed feeling everyone watching me, "She didn't tell me anything." I knew that was a lie, she said Mexico too, but part of me agreed with Murphy. They left us to die, what would they do if they found us still breathing? Execute us? I looked at the floor, still feeling everyone watching me, who the hell put me in charge? Think, Clarke, think! I swallowed, "W-what about North?"
Lexa raised an eyebrow, her face still stern. I could already tell she was much harsher than her twin, "What's North?"
I shrugged, "Canada?"
"The snow?" Lexa half-laughed at me, "It's the end of the world and you want to rebuild in the cold?"
I swallowed, Lexa was really condescending, "Look, the dead, the cold it slows them down. Like a lot down. We could find a hotel or a prison or something and we could build there. The dead would be slow and there won't be many people either, everyone else will head South like you. There's also plenty of rivers and water and trees, trees are good to build resources."
Lexa shook her head, "Yeah and it's all shit for growing crops. Mexico has warmth, we can grow shit. Fruit, veg. Get a farm. It's sustainable-"
"No, it's not," I argued, my voice level, "What about drought? Then we'll die of thirst, won't we? And so will cattle. Mexico is worse than North."
"Stay here then," Murphy interjected, "Or at least somewhere in the middle. What about, what about Oregon?"
Lexa's forehead creased, "Why the hell there?"
Murphy shrugged, "It's in-between Mexico and Washington-"
"Washington State, not DC," Lexa cut him off.
Murphy rolled his eyes, "I know. But what's it matter? Oregon has forests for resources and beaches and the sea. It's a decent climate. And it's not as hot as LA or Mexico. So go there. I mean, nobody gets what they want and everybody gets what they want, right?"
Lexa shook her head, sighing, scanning over the crowd, feeling defeated she exclaimed, "Fine. Fine!"
Bellamy looked at us all, shrugging, "Oregon it is then."