C005 – Can you smile after everything?
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Hi, thanks for waiting. I know I took a bit longer than expected today scouting.
[Aures who is holding her arm as if injured is paying more attention to the floor in front of her than the broken camera she affectionately named Wall.]

Yeah yeah, I'm fine really. Nothing too bad. Managed to just fall over or something ya know, no need to worry I'll clean. On the bright side I got us some vegetables. Mostly potatoes. I was told they would be easier for newer farmers to grow as long as you treat them pretty well.

Sorry back on topic, yeah I explored out down south. I managed to avoid the gangs but I wasn't really prepared for one of the Unwanteds with an eye hanging out of their head to walk up to me. He must have wanted some change or something and I didn't notice him staying in that alley. After that I caught myself on something sticking out, I don't know what but I had to take one of the painkillers I kept on me in times of emergency. I didn't want the pain to be something the gangs could notice if I made noise.
[A slight wince as she shifts to start bandaging the wound quite roughly.]

Well lets see, on my way around I saw the swimming center I used to go to with some of my friends, we all knew how to swim even a bit so we were able to go swimming in lakes and everything when we'd go out camping to other places.

Its hard to look back sometimes to the good times. I'm reminded how much I've forgotten. I call them my friends but its been so long I can't remember their names or faces. If I cried out would they remember me or would they remember the me that was?

But we had fun regardless, all of us. One of the group was a swimmer, pretty sure he was trying out for national competitions or something but you'd swear its all he's good at but even then that doesn't really save you once everything collapses.
[A faint sigh comes from her as she pauses.]

I suppose there will be the next time. To know if they are alright. Maybe if I was brave.

I wasn't that good at any sports. I wasn't bad no, I just wasn't all that good compared to some of them.
What? No I'm not lying about that, I had some fun joining in with them when they played some sports and needed an extra member, I wasn't even picked last.

Oh right, rambling. Sorry Little Miss Bell, you want to know if our trip is safe don't you if we head south. Far as I see, no, I don't think the path I was exploring is safe we might have to go the other side which might take longer.

My main concern would be the rest of the harvest. I want to make sure I collect it all but we might be rushed for time before the gangs rotate their areas. I've heard bad things about them inviting people to dinner from some of the people in the community center but some of that has to be lies right? I prefer chicken anyway to whatever veal or beef or whatever everyone claims they have found since everything went bad so I won't be taking them up on their offer any time soon. Beef is too chewy for me you know, I could never get through a steak unless it was overcooked and stopped being all mushy. I wonder if thats where they got their lions name though, since they found maybe a new kind of animal to hunt or something so they started hunting it in packs.

I can't say I've seen any new wildlife but the most exotic creature I've seen up close is a frog, or was it a toad. One of the other girls in my group panicked when one jumped on the tent she was in at night, after that we started glamping at actual buildings in the wilderness with running utilities. So nice to take a shower after hiking for a few hours. One of the guys was criminally good at cooking, always made our lunches for those hikes. He had no right to be that good at cooking, who cares if he was going into catering.

Ah right, sleep yeah, its getting to be quite late. I sometimes love staring at the stars when I sleep, relaxes me to see them slowly wander the skies, freely as can be. At least, when the smoke and smog from everything burning clears up enough to see the sky. time for bed anyway for both of you as well, Wall and Little Miss Bell.

Now, I've released quite a few more chapters than planned so I'll have to build back up a bit of a stockpile so I don't have to wake up every 3 hours to write something. After this chapter, which will have released 24 hours after the very first one, chapters will be daily for at least the next week. Depending on how heavy the workload is for a story like this, I might slow down to every other day. But we will be hitting at least 30 chapters before I decide if I continue or stop with the book. Its very hard for me honestly to write this sort of second person diary of a world I've not spent ages worldbuilding like I do my D&D and so I don't entirely have a plan going forward besides some of the story and plot that has been dropped in as we have been going. Free cookie to anyone who works out a bit of the backstory from Aures' ramblings.

As for the author ramblings, honestly I disagree with Aures, I love getting a full grill at restaurants, normally medium-rarer because their health standards usually require them to cook it for longer than you'd usually expect. Question for everyone else though about the strangest animal you think you've seen. Not just at a zoo but in the wild, I've seen foxes, badgers, hedgehogs and a whole list of critters since I sometimes go for midnight walks.