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Nav A Day in the Life, (Jenna, James)
Jenna Townsend
 Posted: Aug 24 2017, 06:33 PM
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September 15th, 2018 - Washington DC

Jenna's breath left her on an empty scream as she rolled down the half dozen stairs - putting out her gloved hands in an attempt to slow her roll. Stars burst across her darkened vision for a long moment as she fought to drag air back into her lungs. The blow from the two-by-four had nearly been enough to knock her out, but instead, the leggy blonde clung desperately to what senses she had left to work with. If she sank into the darkness now, she'd surely be left for dead.

"You shoulda given us the stuff when we asked for it, bitch. Now we'll just be taking what we want." Barely hearing the looter's words as her ears rang from a blow to the head, Jenna fought simply to regain her feet as the three men approached. She'd only gotten a split-second glance at the one who hit her with the board, but she remembered seeing him a couple days back when they came by the college looking for handouts - namely drugs, which they couldn't afford to pass around.

The end of civilization as she knew it was gone - leaving only pockets of survivors to hack it out against the chaos rising where law and order once ruled. Sure she had never felt entirely safe in the city, but it had never been this bad. Moving in the shadows of the night in order to smuggle food, medicine, and other important goods, Jenna found herself caught in an ambush, and her bruised hands now struggled for the handgun she now wore at the small of her back instead of in her purse.

Blinding pain shot through her scalp as one of her assailant's grabbed her up by her hair and threw her up against a car. Jen's knee came up to bust him in the nuts, and she followed through by kicking him away. It was a scramble then for her gun, but the two others were upon her before she could free it. Her backpack was ripped away and they were pinning her down against the cold blue paint job of some abandoned car. "We've got a feisty one here!"

They laughed and jeered as they stripped her of her gun and pinned her hands behind her back till she thought her wrists would snap. Struggling and kicking with everything she had, Jenna's efforts came to an end when the barrel of her own gun came to rest upon the temple of her forehead. Breathing hard as a single face leaned over her, the former teacher had a sinking feeling she wasn't going to make it back to the college for check-in.

"Now what do you say we have our own little party, hm?" The man's breath was hot on her ear, and she'd have feared infection had it not been for the medical mask she wore. Even still, she'd have to shower and place herself in quarantine after this. Assuming she lived. Heart racing like a jackhammer in her chest, she could only hope the bastard still had the safety on, because she wasn't going to make this easy on them. "Go fuck yourselves."

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James Devlin
 Posted: Aug 25 2017, 01:15 PM
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Destined to damnation, that seemed to be the course of the world these days. Obvious as it seemed, though, there remained more than a handful of folks who'd somehow survived the initial outbreak and collapse of the federal government. Here, in DC? That, was most likely due in large part to the several pockets of law enforcement, military, and three letter agencies that resided in the surrounding areas. The FEMA camps had mostly collapsed but there'd been some few harder to reach and harder to breach locations that'd held out, from which a few brave or stupid men and women took to the world outside, risking the city streets in an attempt to find and evacuate what people had remained in the city's confines. Among those few, one man could certainly be counted, stupid enough to risk himself but smart enough to limit his exposure.

Trucked parked some decent distance away, he knew well to keep his mode of transporation far enough out of sight that people didn't see exactly where he came from but close enough that he could reach it in the span of a brief sprint as well. That precaution alone seemed fitting when the sounds of conflict rang out through the air surrounding the old university campus. Litter and trash strewn about with but a few hinted souls nearby, the cold-eyed man looked to the source of the noise, shifted his shoulders, and kept his rifle close as his footsteps carried him away. All that preparation only to stumble upon the depressingly typical conduct of people in these recent weeks, James witnessed Jenna being forced up against the body of the abandoned vehicle and spared little time in hastening his approach, bootsteps light upon the cobblestone walkways until he was within visual range of the two men themselves.

Barrel raised, the pinprick dot of his optic settled straight on the man with the gun, a single squeeze of the trigger sending a round punching through his chest cavity. Shifting the shortened barrel towards the second, a paired volley tore through bone and sinew, causing the man to collapse in a gasping heap upon the ground. Brows furrowed in a glare, the gasping, bleeding body of the first man lay upon the ground, eyes cast upwards at the approach of Jenna's own impromptu savior before a fourth round rang out, a copper jacketed round drilling through the man's forehead without a second thought or worry. Gaze shifting to the bruised woman, James spent time enough to collect her handgun from the dead before tucking it into his waistband. No point in an unnecessary risk, after all.

"Noise'll attract worse than these two. Probably best we get off the road. You got a place or do we need to get back to my truck?" Voice curt and pointed, the man decked in OD green and combat attire seemed as mission focused as the clothing he wore and the gear he carried. Light pack on his back, shortened AK in his hands, magazines swelling from the front of his kit, he'd either been military or one hell of a prepper. Regardless of who he was, though, the man seemed concerned enough in all of his abruptness to see Jenna safely somewhere, even if he'd done so by confiscating the very firearm that'd been pressed up against her head. Hand reaching into a back pocket, he produced the bi-folded badge and ID, not that they meant much these days anymore. "Agent Devlin, Secret Service. And no, I'm not here to hurt or steal from you."

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Jenna Townsend
 Posted: Aug 25 2017, 01:52 PM
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Hissing and spitting like a caged cat, knowing what was likely to come next, Jenna's eyes didn't miss the look of surprise on her attacker's face as he toppled over. With his weight and that of the other's finally free of her, the blonde staggered to get to cover. Practically falling over the car's bumper, she was caught mid-scramble by the same man that shot the two looters. Taking him in as he stole up her gun and flashed her a badge, she felt very much like this was some prank and she was about to meet Ashton Kutcher.

"Are you for real?" She'd seen enough badges in her tenure here in DC to know what a real one looked like. Really, he could have killed the previous owner and taken up his ID easily enough, but why the ruse? Maybe go back to her place and steal whatever else they had after he killed them all. She wasn't going anywhere with him - that much she was sure of. And surely not without her gun either. It wasn't like she could hike it across campus and grab her rifle now either.

Grabbing a hold of the car's hood, she dragged herself up so she wasn't left laying prone like an idiot. The world tilted to the side heavily and she had to brace herself against the car to keep from toppling over with it. Nausea followed, and she knew by the pain in her head that it was a concussion. Reaching up to put pressure against the wound, her gloved fingertips came back red with blood. She'd definitely be quarantined for this - if they made it back to the dorms without the "zombies" finding them first.

"Ah, fuck. I've got a place." Staggering a couple steps, Jenna plucked her heavy pack up off the ground and dragged her arms through the straps as she stalked off towards the dorms. If he really was an agent, he'd have figured out there were people living there sooner or later - and really, if he was willing to help, then perhaps he'd be a good addition to their group. Either way, she knew he was right, they couldn't stay out there on the streets. "Follow me, and keep up, Agent Smith."

While her long stride was a bit more 'awkward baby gazelle' and less like that of a woman who ran track back in high school, Jenna clung to consciousness with a mental fist as she moved through the darkness of the seemingly desolate campus towards the center tower where the others were holed up. Three shapes moved across their path, and her jog slowed at the sight of shambling undead headed their way. Only another fifty steps and they'd have been safe inside. Jenna held out her hand towards the agent in hopes of getting her S&W back. "Give me my gun! Quick!"

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James Devlin
 Posted: Aug 27 2017, 11:30 PM
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Hard gaze trained on the woman before him, James quietly sized her up and shrugged his shoulders her way when she inquired to the validity of his approach and identity. Whether she bought the truth or not wasn't much of a concern, he was here to find survivors and get them to leave. Why? Well, if the rumors coming down the pipeline were to be believed, then DC proper was likely to find itself wiped off of the map. Problem was, nobody knew when exactly it was supposed to happen, just that it was on the table for the no longer present President. Go figure, the President made it to the safety of Hawaii, while the rest of the country's population was stuck in the cities. Hell, he'd been present for the political evacuations and that was when he'd decided to give the government the proverbial finger to get back to his own home and equipment so he could see about helping out the average person again.

So, here he was, looking like a damn fool in full tactical gear, flashing a badge belonging to a government that didn't exist anymore, to a woman whose firearm he'd just confiscated to ensure his own safety. Regardless, though, he was there less for his benefit and more for hers, and whoever else she might've decided to whole up with. The "Smith" comment not going unnoticed, the man merely rolled his eyes to himself and brought himself up to a casual trot, following alongside the woman with a surprisingly skilled bout of deftness, dodging debris and obstacles without any apparent difficulty. Skidding to a stop, though, James noted the infected in front of them, slow, shambling, and otherwise lacking in being a real threat if handled properly, properly being the key.

Scoffing at her brief bout of panic concerning the return of her firearm, James offered the woman a sidelong glance before handing her gun back to her, lifting a finger to tell her to way. Checking the velcro on his sleeves and gloves alike, the man slung his rifle and reached for the knife he'd tucked in a sheath on his kit. With a purposefully casual stroll, the man took up pace towards the infected without so much as flinching or even a breath of fear about him. Coming within arm's reach of the first, he dodged the grasping hands and tugged on its outstretched arm, throwing the infected to the ground in time enough for his boot to smash into the back of its head. Body going limp, James dodged another pair of hands before bringing his knife in a wide sweep, jamming the blade through the soft bone of the infected's temple before jerking the blade out and kicking the remaining one in the groin, sending its own legs out from under it.

With a sigh under his breath, the man stepped over the floored undead and jammed the tip of his blade through the back of the base of the beast's skull. Letting moaning, growling voices die out in quiet gurgles, James withdrew his blade and wiped the ichorous blood off on the infected's own stained clothing. Tucking the blade away and putting hands on his rifle once more, James nodded his head back off towards the direction they'd been traveling. "The slow ones are easy, it's the runners you need to actually worry about. Remember that, the next time you come across the infected." Clear voice calling to the woman to instruct her by example as to how she might handle future encounters with these monsters, James took up stride to walk alongside her again. "So, this place of yours. How many other survivors?"

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Jenna Townsend
 Posted: Aug 27 2017, 11:54 PM
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Thankful to have her gun back, Jenna held off on shooting the three zombies re-dead and watched her new companion move to get up close and personal with them instead. Regardless of whether he was lying about being a Federal agent or not, it was very clear even in the darkness of the night that he wasn't without skill. In fact, if they had more like him a month ago, there might have been more survivors living up in the dorms now. Or they might have gotten out sooner, and been in Canada by now.

Taking in the boot stomp and seemingly easy way he otherwise dispensed of the infected, Jenna didn't holster her gun quite yet. She knew all too well about the swift moving infected he was talking about, and it jacked up her paranoia all the more. Swallowing hard as another wave of nausea followed the rush of adrenaline, Jenna gave the bodies a wide berth and continued heading towards the dorms with a nod. "There's about seventy five of us altogether. There were more..."

Her carefully whispered words trailed off as she adjusted her heavy pack and came to peek around the corner of the next building. Jenna pulled out her keycard as she headed up to the back door and gave it a swipe once... twice... and cursed under her breath when the red light blinked at her a third time. Perhaps it was scuffed or something in her fall down the stairs? Looking around quick, she exhaled slowly and gave the agent a nod towards the fire escape along the short side of the building. "We'll have to get in that way."

Keeping her eyes peeled as she moved, Jenna came to the fire escape and angrily eyed high stretch of ladder that had been raised just beyond either her or the agent's reach. 'Safety precautions', they had been called - tying off the ladder that had been raised as high as it would go to make sure looters and runners wouldn't have easy access to the building. All the windows had been properly sealed off as well, and unless they wanted to risk running clear around the building to the loading docks, this was their best chance - especially with more zombies coming around the corner.

"Give me a boost up and I'll untie it for you." Holstering her gun, Jenna had a feeling she was about to be sick from ten feet up, but it was better there than out here in the open. Still unsure why this guy was helping her in the first place, she simply hoped he continued to do so. He was handy in a pinch, and if he wasn't out to rob them, then he'd prove to be a valuable asset. Hearing the sound of the undead drag ever closer, she debated sticking around to simply take them out - until she saw just how many were moving along the campus green. "Shit. There's too many. We need to move!"

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James Devlin
 Posted: Aug 28 2017, 01:12 PM
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Seventy? Christ, he'd expected maybe a dozen or so but that many made for one hell of a bitch to evacuate, especially this deep within the city limits. If he'd had a personnel carrier or something, then maybe he'd be able to just them all up and roll out but even then, how? With the city streets as clogged as they were with derilect vehicles, it'd taken him hours just to get this far in his own personal truck, and that included pushing a few of those cars out of his way on more than one occassion. Deliberating the best way to approach that situation, James merely shook his head to himself as he followed along behind the woman, rifle kept firmly in his grasp up until the card reader failed and she'd motioned towards a tied up fire escape.

It was one hell of a way to get into her supposed safehouse but it was what it was. It just so happened to become the only option the moment the sounds of approaching infected filled the air. One spotting them resulted in a screaching declaration as runners came barrelling out of the roaving group. Cursing underneath his breath, James looked Jenna's way with a quick nod. "Get ready." Dropping to a knee, he burried his shoulder into the woman's waist and wrapped an arm around her legs, hoisting the woman straight up, just enough for her to be able to get her hands on the bars. Letting the woman free of his grasp the moment she'd taken to the fire escape, James snarled to himself and looked to the racing approach of half-a-dozen sprinters.

Muzzle climbing and red dot focusing, he didn't even bother with distance headshots. Instead, James let loose a small hail of accurate fire directly at the blurred legs of the infected. One, two, three, four, five, the shots rang out until he'd managed to floor or otherwise slow their approach, much to their screaming dismay. "A little fucking hustle would be nice!" Calling out to the woman at the fire escape above him, James backed himself away as best he could while still keeping his rifle leveled. Taking his time as well as he could, shots continued to ring out like dinner bells, maiming legs and puncturing heads until a semi-circle of scattered bodies slowly started to form at various distances away from the man. Feeling the absence of recoil when he squeezed the trigger again, James cursed and popped the empty magazine out of his rifle, tossing it into a catch bag on his kit before hooking another to his rifle and slamming the charging handle to the rear.

Hearing the crashing fall of the ladder behind him, James took time enough to clear the immediate area of infected, just to make sure none of them could get to the ladder before they could raise it again. Ten dead or crawling, with nearly twenty more coming after them, the agent slung his rifle and reached for the bars of the ladder. Climbing up in haste, he himself might've seemed a blur as he reached the top and started pulling the ladder up again. "Fuck...fuck..." Religously cursing beneath his breath at every passing second and up until the ladder itself was fully retracted and tied up again, the man leaned back against the brick wall of the building for a moment before looking back Jenna's way. "So, where's the rest of your group?"

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Jenna Townsend
 Posted: Aug 28 2017, 01:53 PM
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Lifted high enough to wrap her gloved hands around the bottom bar of the ladder, it took all of Jenna's sinewy strength to drag herself up those first rungs. Once she got a foot under her, she climbed hard and fast to the first tie and severed the knot instead of dealing with shaking fingers fumbling with it. The blood-curdling screeches echoing across the campus green sent chills up her spine and she didn't bother wasting time looking for the fast bastards that were quickly sprinting their way.

She needed to get James off the ground, and she surely wasn't strong enough to drag him up alone. Not with all his gear at least, and he didn't have time to strip it. Lowering the ladder quick as she could, she then drew her gun and emptied it to help the agent buy himself time to race up to the safety of the iron landing she was on. By the time he was up, the masses were gathering below - their grubby hands clawing at the brick building in an attempt to reach their escaped meal.

Holstering her gun once more, she rushed to help James drag the ladder back into place and tied it off with a thankful huff. Heart pounding and head screaming in agony, she was seeing spots as her stomach threatened to purge itself then and there. But with food rations being such a rare commodity, she fought against the wave of nausea brought on by the stench of the undead and her very likely concussion. Turning, she began to climb the stairs upwards towards their refuge.

"We've made homes in the top two floors - nine and ten. The rest is cleared and blockaded." Swallowing hard in between sentences, Jenna clung carefully to the railing as she pushed her long legs to climb the stairs two at a time. The sooner they were inside, the better. Though getting in was going to be a huge pain too, because she was pretty sure all fire exits were shut up tight as well. It'd all been done months ago as safety precautions - more to keep out invaders and undead than to help the residents escape.

The dorm location had been an easy choice when things started to get hairy. She'd gone here back when she was in college, and taught bio classes twice a week, so she knew the lay of the place like the back of her hand. The Georgetown Hospital University was barely a mile away, and they'd been scraping everything they could from there. They could reach the river and reservoir with ease, too. On top of that, it was far away from the riots and rallies that they had been untouched by marauders. So far at least.

Reaching the ninth floor finally, she leaned heavily against the exit door and cranked at the handle. A light came to life within and a professor's face came into view. A twist of the lock and bar soldered into place saw the door swinging open, but the older man brought up a kerchief around his nose and mouth just in case as he moved out of the way to let her and James in. "Jenna! They're waiting for you down in the loading docks. Where's Dylan? Who's this? What's happened?"

"Dylan took off. Tell the others I'm back with a Federal Agent in tow. We'll be in quarantine." Stepping inside, she gave James room enough to enter the narrow hall as well before locking back up. Heading down the white-painted hall, she opened the first door and flipped on a lamp to illuminate it. Some old cots, mini fridge, and small table with a deck of cards were about all to be found within. "This way, Devlin. It's procedure just to get checked out so we don't expose everyone if we're infected."

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James Devlin
 Posted: Aug 30 2017, 03:33 PM
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Top two floors, of course. Her answer replied to with an internal mental groan of annoyance, James lifted himself to follow after. Ascending the staircase, hot on the woman's heels, the agent carefully and quietly watched their surroundings as they climbed ever higher, casting his gaze downward at the slowly growing number of infected below. If they were lucky, they'd eventually grow bored or something else would come along to draw them away, otherwise they'd be looking at a real horde in a day or two. God help them if that happened, because he sure as hell didn't have the ammunition or means to stop anything significantly large, he'd only brought enough to help him move back and forth between refugee camps and hold-outs.

Their end destination? A locked door where a man, presumably another refugee and staff member of the university greeted them, Jenna specifically, with questions. Otherwise silent and curt in his disposition, James nodded to the professor in passing before following Jenna along. Though, follow her as he might have, when greeted with the confines of the hallways, the man's grip on his rifle became all the tighter, and he was fast to check each corner and over his shoulder at a constant. After all, couldn't risk this group of "Survivors" attacking and disarming him, he'd seen it happen plenty of times already with other LEOs and military members who stayed back to help the civilians or were otherwise abandoned due to unit movements and a lack of resources necessary to actually get every last soul evacuated.

Tucking himself in along with Jenna into what was presumably where they quarantined themselves after outings to make sure they didn't put the rest of the dorm's inhabitants at risk, James paced the length of the walls, checking his surroundings quietly. Looking back towards Jenna, he nodded towards the same door that'd led them into the room. "Got it but we also shouldn't be sticking around here much longer. I wasn't here looking for folks to hole up with, I came out here to get folks like you out of here before shit really goes south." Speaking plainly, the agent stood squarely before the woman whom escorted him to safety after having her own skin saved by himself. The way the rumors were going about through old, barely present communication channels, the proper metro area wasn't going to be safe for much longer, no matter how well somebody had prepared their hold out.

Absent panic, the seriousness that held fast to his voice suggested the man wasn't faking his warning. One of only the last few remaining efforts to get people out of the city, the agent scowled to himself at the thought of it, particularly what would happen to the people who'd taken up residence in the University, especially if the rumors were even just a shadow of what they were being made out to be. Simply put, he wasn't fond of it, didn't support it, and wasn't about to keep himself to the confines of the city as the next two weeks passed on. His goal was simple, get as many survivors out as quickly as he could before getting out of the city himself and trying to find somewhere a bit more permanent to stay. Otherwise, they'd all be fucked.

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Jenna Townsend
 Posted: Aug 30 2017, 04:11 PM
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Shucking her pack, Jenna set the massive thing on the floor beside one of the cots with an exhausted sigh before heading to start up the air filtration system. It'd force out the air in the room outside while dragging in fresh stuff through the fanned vent on the other side of the room. It wasn't perfect, but it had kept them safe so far - just in case they had spores on them, but weren't infected yet. Bleaching the door nob, she could only pray now they would be alright.

"Cause shit hasn't already gone south?" Lifting a shapely, golden brow at the agent as she went to the sink to wash her hands, Jenna then began checking herself over for injuries or gray marks from their encounter with the infected. She wasn't about to take off her mask until she knew they were cleared. Taking a seat on a cot when the room began to spin again, the blonde rested her face in her hands for a long moment to catch her breath and her barrings.

"Besides, for what it's worth, those masses down there will probably just wander away like they've done before. And if there are any more of those fast ones..." Cursing under her breath at the memory of the agent mowing the runners down as they tried to escape, Jenna wondered why their stationed guards on the roof hadn't taken care of them first. "I'll tell our leader to go check up top. I'm guessing someone on duty fell asleep or something stupid. We usually have at least two on guard with rifles manning the rooftop, so that mess never should have happened."

Starting to strip off her gear - gloves, boots, and jacket - she made herself at home for the time being and tried not to get worked up again. Her head was already killing her. Another shot of adrenaline would only make it worse. If someone had dropped the ball and gotten her and the agent killed because of it, then she'd hope to come back and bite them personally. Not that she wished ill on anyone, but one small mistake could have dire consequences. "Though you're probably right. Now that Dylan's gone with our last supply truck, we'll be pinching things down a bit more now."

She wasn't about to expose to a stranger just how much of a stocked supply they had - in case he really was here to scout out his options before returning to a bunch of gun-toting meatheads back at his own camp - but the hit they took tonight was more against her pride than actual survival. Setting her gun aside to be checked, cleaned, and reloaded, Jenna exhaled slowly and looked up at her quarantine companion. "Though where do you suggest we go? It's not like the roads are clear, and there are still droves of those things out there."

Leaning forward to rest her forearms on her knees, Jenna swallowed hard at the memory of her own scouting mission that had gone horribly wrong a month back, and shook her head slowly - closing her eyes to keep from throwing up. "We've survived this long here, and while it's not perfect, it's honestly all we've got. I have family out west I'd like to see again, but I really don't see making a trek out of the city safely a priority - at least not to most of the people here. Unless you've got a helicopter or something up your sleeve, Agent."

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James Devlin
 Posted: Sep 14 2017, 12:19 PM
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"If you think it's gone to hell now, give it a couple weeks." Serious as the dead, James looked at the woman squarely when she bothered to question the "Why" behind getting out of the campus grounds, and the city in general. Major lines of communication had been cutoff and lost but there were still sporadic moments of peak signal between radio towers and sattelites that'd let brief communications leave out from Hawaii and reach the continental United States. Canada wasn't exactly fairing any better than the United States, and with that in mind, alongside knowing that the greater infected population resided within the major metros of the world, rumors had begun to spread. Though the communications themselves had been crackled and unclear, one thing was for certain, the greater DC area was likely going to find itself wiped clean off the map in a couple weeks' time.

Knowing that much, individuals like himself had taken to the streets in small or individual scouting parties, meant to gather and evacuate people as they could. Where James was concerned, there hadn't been much in the way of progress or success. Folks he found were often like these, content to sit in place and wait it out, even if that was going to be what likely led to their downfall. Despite the lack of success, though, here he was, still doing what could amount to his best to give people a proper warning to get them the hell out of dodge. Looking back Jenna's way, the man couldn't help but look her up and down, the gal was worse for wear, and if she was indicative of what the rest of them looked like, then he'd more than likely have his work cut out for him.

Still standing on his own two feet, James kept a reasonable distance between the pair of them, eyes on the door and the woman respectively. "There's enough open road to break through with trucks and bikes. But even if you don't have 'em, you're gonna want to leave regardless. DC's only got a couple weeks before it's one, massive fireball." Deadpan with is words, the agent made way to a nearby window, checking the world outside and below them as some few members of the infected began to lumber about and away from the building with other, distant sounds drawing their attentions away. Risky as it may have been, as far as panic was concerned, James wasn't exactly in the mood much these days to beat around the bush. Coarse in demeanor and disposition, there'd be no suspecting deceit from him by the way he looked.

Checking his gloves and rifle accordingly, the man rested the small back he kept on the ground before him. Pulling out his emptied magazine and a box of ammunition alike, the man started methodically reloading the magazine, since the opportunity presented itself, each click of a seated round acting something like an audible therapy for the man. "So, those of us that stayed back with you civilians, are rounding up as many of you as we can and are getting ready to convoy out. You don't want to be here when the bombs drop, because even if you survive the fire, what's left will chew your asses up faster than anything else outside city limits." Glancing up from his partially loaded magazine, James finished the process before dumping the one already loaded into his rifle and topped it off as well before tucking everything away and shouldering his pack again. "You said there was about fifty or more of you, right? If you guys want to get out alive, then we need to get moving."

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