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Default 10-12-2011, 09:28 PM


Rose smiled and said, "Sure thing; this time, our alone time won't be spoiled by serious talk," She then let him go to do his job. She wandered over to the horses, being careful to make sure they saw her coming. Other than that, she let herself relax; despite the radiation levels, the air was crisp and clean smelling, though she could also faintly smell that one of the horses had saw fit to relieve him or herself in the area. The kittens mewed pleasantly as they played, and Rose could hear birds twittering away in the trees. She enjoyed the way the sun pooled here and there in clearing between the relatively young trees, and the sky above was achingly blue with only wispy clouds high up breaking it up.

While Damien was away, Rose had helped one horse, who'd gotten a stone stuck in its hoof, and healed it. She'd spent a good amount of time talking to the horses, and had been amused when one of the horses had asked to try a potato chip and had found that he hated them. The mother cat had been protective at first, but then let Rose play with the kittens, dragging some string around and letting the kittens chase it, muttering to themselves and pretending it was real prey. Rose suffered no ill effects at all form staying around and playing with the local animals, and in fact had a wonderful time of it.

Word soon spread through the local animal community that there was a strange human present who could talk to them. A few more curious animals had joined her, including several types of bird and a pack of dogs. When Damien did return, he'd find that Rose had become popular with the animals, and said animals usually avoided people at all costs; after all, the humans had destroyed the land to begin with. But they saw Rose as almost… different, for she understood them and agreed with them about a lot of things.


The power station wasn't very far away by Damien's standards; quite a long walk for a regular human, but Damien was well able to manage it. He walked through the city, noting the huge amount of plant growth, the trees that were not very old, but strong and vigorous which pushed through the concrete. He heard voices and correctly assumed them to be from a tourist group. Damien avoided the group as he did not want to be asked awkward questions and set off towards the power station. The geiger counter went crazy as he approached the power station; it had leapt to a level that would indicate a dangerous dose of radiation for a normal person. Damien put up the psychic shield around himself and everything he carried so as not to collect radioactive dust, and walked purposely towards the power station. It was still in a level of disrepair; the radiation coming from it would kill any unprotected person, so the people who came to work on it had to wear protective gear and could not remain in the vincinity for longer than two hours. But Damien had no such trouble.

He took a quick look around to make sure that there was no-one around; there were sometimes workers or scientists, but there was no-one. Damien changed to his winged reptile form, the one he called his dragon form though it resembled a dinosaur more than a dragon, and flew straight up. He landed by the new sarcophagus and changed back to his normal form. Damien then took some time inspecting it, and photographing the concrete shield from every angle. It was perfectly intact, and definitely an improvement on the old one, which had been cracked in places. Damien put his camera away, feeling that now the American President could rest easy with no cause for concern, and changed shape so he could fly back to the ground. He took his normal shape and walked briskly away from the power station. Despite his shield, the level of radiation still made him feel very uneasy and he was glad to be out of there.

It was also uneasy for Damien to walk through the abandoned city, but at least the geiger counter had gone back to a lower level of radiation. He'd dropped the psychic shield as soon as he'd left the area of lethal radiation. The city had been looted on more than one occasion, so that only non valuables had been left behind. The saddest part of the city by far was the amusement park, with its empty ferris wheel and rides; it had been scheduled to open three days after the disaster, so no child had ever rode the dodgems or the whirlers, or been taken aloft in the ferris wheel. A teddy bear, with its stuffing coming out of a tear in its stomach, lay on the ground by the ticket box. Here too the plant life triumphed; growing out of cracks in the ground and throwing vines over the man made buildings. Damien hurried as quickly as he could to get back to where he'd left Rose with the motorbike.


Upon further conversation with the animals, Rose found that all of them believed this place to be a sort of blessing; it was free of humans and their meddling. The horses didn't have to be restrained, put away, and forced to carry humans on their backs, the rodents weren't being poisoned or trapped, same thing for the bugs, and none of them felt the effects of radiation.

Specifically, the mother cat talked to Rose about being born in the abandoned farm. Her mother had told her the story of the evacuation and abandonment of Chernobyl. But it was the mother cat's great great grandmother that had been alive during all of this. The story had simply been passed from momma cat to kitten all this time.

The story was one of much confusion, of humans expressing much grief. The cat's ancestor had been left presumably to die, for her humans hadn't been able to afford to take her with them; she'd been bitter at first, but eventually let her anger go, for she couldn't expect a creature as fickle and clumsy as a human to remember any but their own kind when trouble arises. Rose sat and listened to the story and, despite that fact that she was human herself, had to agree; humans really did care only for themselves. At least, the majority of them did. The mother cat was in the middle of saying something when she stared off into the trees as if she heard something.

"What is it?" Rose asked in the special language she instinctively used to communicate with animals.

"Something headed right this way, but a ways off yet, you wouldn't hear it. It sounds like that - that boy you arrived here with." The cat said.

Rose shook her head. "I can, er, send out my hearing, but I think I'll take you at your word."

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