Today I want to go back into my 'Reboot-Universe' - though I'm not sure if anyone can still remember. You don't need to go back to read the previous stories because I'm following a storyline but the stories themself can mostly be read alone.
What you should know:
Casey had been able to fight the alien-queen who tried to take over the world, but her death released a virus which killed almost everyone older than twenty. Life has changed a lot for everyone who was able to survive, also for Casey & Zeke.
If you want to read the other stories first klick here
Title: Reboot - Tiger (chapter 1)
Fandoms: Crossover - The Faculty / Jeremiah
Summery: about the downfall from the old world and the start of a new one
Disclaimer: Neither The Faculty nor Jeremiah are mine, of course ;)
Author's Note: This is a story from my AU crossover universe 'Reboot'. You don't need to know anything about Jeremiah nor The Faculty to read these stories, but if you do some elements will be quite familiar for you. Not movie conform.
They were following the tracks for almost two hours now and Zeke started to believe that they would never be able to find the causer. Only the thought of the three young, scared women let him still move on.
It had been last evening when he and Casey did find the old farm. Despite the provisionally repaired roof and some broken, nailed up windows it was in a good state, with a small barn and a kitchen garden aside. Zeke had stopped, hoping for a meal and maybe a warm place where they could stay overnight.
The last days had been cold and rainy, Casey didn't stop shivering, though, of course, he wouldn't complain, as usual. He was the most stubborn boy he had ever seen, but to be honest, he enjoyed it to be together with him. No only the world had changed, he had too. The times where had only been interest in parties, girls and fun, where he had cared about nothing and no one were long gone.
They were on the road now for some weeks and Casey was still not willing to give up and go back to Herrington where they would find at least some comfort. Though no one they had met on their trip seemed to know about this mysterious 'Thunder Mountain' they were looking for. Zeke was convinced that it didn't even exit, it was just a pipe-dream of a freaking guy. But Casey did believe his words, that the fate of the world depends on him … again. He had been the one who had killed the alien-queen … which had caused the 'Big Death', almost everyone older than twenty died. It was almost two years ago but Zeke knew, Casey still felt guilty and he was looking for a way to make up for it. No way that Zeke would leave him alone out here. The world hadn't stopped turning but had changed, everyone was fighting to survive and a lot gangs of skinheads and other schizos had earned too much power.
But there were other people, too, like the women in the farm house. First they had been cautious when Zeke had stopped the Chevrolet in front of the farm but relaxed soon when he had offered them some goods in trade for a meal and maybe a place to sleep in the barn.
“Come on in,” the woman, Jenny was her name, had said.
“We have some cure meat and potatoes, I guess it's enough for all of us.”
They had spend a nice evening. The meal was great, Zeke had added some milkpouder, sugar and flour for some pancakes for dessert, they had talked and laughed, and when it was time for the children to go to bed, Casey had offered to tell them a fairy tale.
Liz smiled and watched them leaving the room.
“He's great with children.”
“In Herrington he was often hanging around with Delilah. She was the former cheerleader queen, pretty much a bitch. But when it was needed she did surprise all of us, she adopted a baby. Marie. Casey loves her, he says, whatever will happen, he could never stop fighting for a better world because the children deserve this.”
Liz looked at the baby boy who was sleeping in her arms.
“When … when it happened … it freaked me out. I run and … tried to hide. All I wanted was to wake up out of this nightmare. But it didn't happen. I was sure I would die like all the others around me.
It was Jenny who found me, she was on the run with her little sister. I don't like to think about the next weeks, the things we did to survive. But then we did find the farm. It was a stormy day and we were looking for shelter. Here we met Ann, with Ben and Daniel. The children of her former neighbor, their parents died, they were all alone for days until Ann heard them crying.”
“Since then we are living here,” she finally added.
“It's a good place. We grow vegetables, we have some chicken and some wild rabbits. Even a goat … but … maybe we will have to leave soon.”
“Why should you? Someone is threatening you?”
Zeke felt anger rising up. The women had worked so hard for this place and in times like these it was a shelter, so much better then to live on the road or somewhere in a rotten town. It was just not fair …
“Not someone,” Liz said.
“Hm? What do you mean?”
“It's … something not human.”
Obviously Liz was not sure if she should tell him more. And yes, under other circumstances he might had laughed about it, but she looked seriously worried.
“It started some weeks ago. Only during the nights. First it was the rabbit hutch. We thought it was a wolf or maybe a feral dog. Then we found the tracks. I've never seen anything like that before. They are big, like from a heavy, great creature. Some nights ago it came back to kill the goat. We could hear her crying but before Jen could get the gun, it was over. We did see a shadow vanishing into the woods. And the sound it made ...”
Liz shuddered at the memory alone.
“It was creepy. To be honest, there is not much what can freak my out anymore, but … this thing … I can barely sleep anymore, I dream about it that it comes into the house to get the children. Maybe it would be better to leave … but this is our home. I don't know if I can endure this once again. To leave everything behind, without knowing where to go.”
“We will help you!”
Zeke stiffened at Casey's determined voice from behind.
As usual he had gotten his way. And now they were here, in the nearby woods, following a track also Zeke couldn't say to whom or what it belonged to. It was nothing he had ever seen before. And as much he felt sorry for the young women, in a way he felt relieved. To face an unknown danger with Casey beside him was nothing he was eager about.
“We should go ...”
… back, he wanted to say, but in the same moment he could hear Casey breathing in heavily, there was a cracking in the woods beside them. Alarmed he jerked around, his fingers around the trigger of his gun. But what he caught sight off made him stiffen and gape bewildered.
He blinked, once, twice, he knew it was impossible because he didn't do drugs anymore, not even a bit pot or some of his scat but this felt like one of the most weird dreams under the influence of drugs he had ever had.
„Good god,” Casey whispered.
And Zeke knew it had to be real. Casey could see the tiger too. A tiger! He was cowering between some trees, high grass and dense bushes. His fur yellow with dark stripes, his tail moved up and down slightly, his dark eyes with the golden iris pointed at them. He looked small, not even full grown. Calm, almost uninterested he was lying there, watching them, but Zeke knew better than to underestimate the danger.
Without further movement he slowly put his hand on Casey's arm to warn him, he could feel his tension. His thoughts were racing. What could they do? Running away in panic was not an option, the tiger would be quicker then they were. He felt the weight of his gun. It was not what he wanted to do, what an amazing animal. He wondered where he did come from. Probably from a zoo or a circus … he had somehow managed it to escape … free for the first time in his life. Zeke swallowed. It was not fair. But what other option did he have? The farm was nearby, his hunting ground, for the moment it was enough for him to take the easiest prey, but this would change. The tiger would grow up, get stronger and it was only a matter of time that he would run into one of the women … or, even worse, the children. Usually a tiger would try to avoid it to get near to humans but what other options did he have in a world he didn't belonged to ...
part two next sunday