Genetics X: Annaleise
Chapter Five: The Pub Owner and his Daughter
08082009 - 0854A

AN: I know it's been a while (like a week or so) since my last update, but I'm starting to get to an important part of the story that is actually brought out in the RP as well and I wanted to be sure to get it right. :3

XxX

Within three days I had healed enough to walk. I can only suppose Sean had somehow managed to distract Tait from my absences during training and patrol. I would thank him for that later, but he would only brush me off and tell me that a partner is no good if they're dead.

The weeks stretched on with the same routine, and very little interaction with Tait. I actually began to wonder why we were never seeing him, and what he was up to. Maybe he was looking for others like me? Possible recruits? Those he found valuable always seemed to wind up here, whether of their own will or not. More often than not, though, people seemed pleased to be asked to work for Tait. I could only suppose it was something like being asked to work for the President. Of course, that station was no longer in existance. Maybe that's what Tait equalled to the outside world. To me, he was nothing more than a parasite, holding me here against my will, forcing me to do his bidding for the sake of survival. For although I didn't see him often, there was no doubt in my mind that he was a fearsome man when angered, and highly respected by the world around us. Aneirun and Sean's reverance of him was enough to say that, as well as the many underlings that came and went with time.

After the outbreak, there were actually a fair amount of humans who had survived exposure to the virus, or somehow managed to avoid exposure all together. They were definitely human, though. The virus had caused no mutations. They continued living on as they had before the pandemic. Well, almost as before. International trade had of course ceased, as there simply weren't enough people for a satisfactory market. People lived off of the land more, and what could be made at home was. Trade of any sort was expensive, what with the lack of manpower.

People colonized closer than every before, forming what could almost be described as small nations, as few and far between as they were.

One of these colonies lay just outside of Tait's estate. It was somewhere I often ventured in what little time off I was given, usually in the early hours of night. Rumours of the vicious werewolves that guarded the estate had spread, and those who would try to enter the grounds rarely did so at night, thinking that we may be asleep, or that we were somehow less deadly during the day hours. With the folk tales of werewolves, I could see this reasoning. Traditionally, we should only be able to transform on the full moon, or only at night.

Too bad for intruders we were not the creatures of lore, but rather a product of science.

There was one pub in the small settlement, nestled between a poorly-stocked, overpriced grocery story and a butcher. This was where I ventured most often. Home-brewed ale, and an economy so poor they couldn't afford to worry about age. As if there was even a government left to enforce age restrictions. Tait was the government, as far as I could tell, and he had more important things to worry about.

The owner of the pub and his daughter, Andrew and Emilee Redford, were smiling, cheerful people, carefree despite the hardships the world now faced. It intrigued me, and when I asked him how he could stay so carefree, he answered in a rough, jovial voice.

"Just what is there to worry about? We've got food on our plates, a roof over our heads, and an entire town to act as our family," he chortled. "Most importantly, and never forget just how much this is worth," and this was possibly the only time I ever saw him looking completely serious, "we are alive."

Emilee smiled and patted her father's arm as if to say "well done" before turning to me. "Another mug then, dear?" she asked, smiling wider. I nodded, thinking that I should have hunted before I came here. I should have something on my stomach to soak up the strong home-brew. Perhaps I would have to stop by the butcher, and purchase something on the way back. But prices were so high, and I had very little of what I had left home left. Best make this one the last glass.

As I sipped, I observed the patrons, those who frequented the pub like me. In a town like this, there was little else to do on a dreary night, and nothing around for miles.

"So where are you from?" Emilee asked, an eyebrow quirked. "You come here fairly often, but I never see you around town."

She was observant. Not that it was a big town, but most had not noticed so far. Or perhaps they noticed more than they were keen to let on.

"Perhaps you just haven't been looking hard enough," I said, my face blank.

"Perhaps you don't live here. Perhaps you wonder down from that estate in the forest." She was sharper than I thought.

"I'm afraid you'll never know for sure," I deadpanned, my voice hard. "And perhaps it would do you well to quit asking, in case what you suspect is true. You know the only ones who leave that place alive are those that work there."

To my surprise, Emilee through her head back and laughed, a light, genuinly amused sound. When she looked at me again, her blue eyes sparkled.

"You're quite the card, you know," she said cheerfully.

If only she knew.

XxX

Over the passing weeks, I found myself venturing down to the pub more and more. Sean took the night shift while I patrolled days, both of us confident enough in our hearing to wake at any cries for help during the other's patrol. Of course we both took the night patrol on the full moon. There was little point in both of us sleeping then. The wolves took over completely and were restless.

Emilee made small talk with me more often than not on the nights I went down to the village. For some reason she didn't trigger my temper, and I successfully skirted every question she threw my way. Well, all except one.

"So, what's your name? I mean you're in here all the time, and I can't just keep calling you 'dear' all the time," she said with a smile. I pondered the question. It would be so easy to lie to her. But it upset me, somehow, that she had tired of calling me 'dear'. So at the very least, I wanted her to say my real name. Not some quickly concocted alias.

"Annaleise. Annaleise DeMarco," I said. She smiled.

"Annaleise. Mind if I call you Anna?" she asked.

"I do, actually," I replied crisply. No one had called me that since my father passed.

"Well then, I guess it's Annaleise from now on."

"I guess so."

XxX

AN: Blargh I almost hate that Anna is so mean and detatched with everyone around her. It makes this so much harder. D:

By the way, I love Emilee. She's getting her whole arc of chapters, leading up to Tait's. :3

As always, if you're interested in this story, I highly recommend "Genetics X: Aneirun" by J.L. Hastings, "Genetics X: Olivia" by Sarianna Black, and "Genetics X: Damon Dulayne" by Suicidal Muffin-chan. For those of you who read my slash works, Muffin and JL both have gay male charas, so that may be right up your ally. As for Sarianna, her chara Olivia will one day have a very special place in Anna's heart, so if you're enjoying Anna's story, GX: Olivia might be something to look into. Links for all of them can be found, as always, on my favourites list. :3

Replies!

JL Hastings: I've been lazy and haven't reviewed your latest chapter. Laziiiinesss. It runs amock!

Sarianna Black: D'aw. /blushes

NekoRinChan: I'm glad you like it! I figured it would be hard to capture the interest of someone not in the RP. Lol. And psht. Dude. I love your reviews. Always have.

Please review guys! You have no idea how much I love getting feedback!

love.
luci.