Foxes Fear Moose Among Other Things – Creekside Safe House

Posted: March 25, 2012 in Alternative Safe Houses, Safe House Lore
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

When I arrived home I felt a sense of dread at the expression upon Beebles’ face, because such an expression is reserved for those who have gotten sick or who have died. While she did not appear to be either, Malkoris was nowhere in sight and my heart dropped into my stomach. I had only been gone seven days and I had left the two of them alone longer than this before. Immediately self recriminations attacked my mind where my doubt plagued me. If I had taken them to a bigger house maybe this would not have happened. If I had not gone and stuck my nose into other people’s business I would have been here to change the outcome.  All this before even knowing what had happened to Malkoris.

Earlier in the week word reached me from Rite Aid that the world was changing, but how that change was happening they were not certain. On patrolling the border of Terry Fox heinrich stepped out from behind a shed using an old rag to wipe the blackish blood from a recent kill off his blade. “Chyram, have you heard about ATCO movements throughout the valley, and into Shark City tattoos?”

This was the first I had heard of ATCO leaving beyond their borders and raiding skirmishes. “No this is news to me. Any idea what it is they are doing with the Sharks?” I could think of a few scenarios and none of them ended well. Perhaps the Sharks had struck out against ATCO? It did not seem like a move that CIHUILO would endorse, however some of his fellow members are hot blooded enough. At the same time none of the other safe houses have the genetic technology that the Sharks were hording. Perhaps ATCO decided to come and take what was not being shared?

“Just thought you should know since you seem to have a thing for the fish.” heinrich’s smirk was twisted from a gash that ran from a corner of his mouth up the cheek. The skin peeled back a little, leaving a red slash that marred his otherwise handsome and human appearance.

I muttered, “I have been judged for having friends more odd then that.” My pointed look at the Rite Aider only resulted in a laugh as a response. He nodded his head and turned to leave answering, “When you find out what they are up to, let us know.” Since when had I been promoted a mediator between Rite Aid and ATCO? At the same time I knew that the houses had a friendly rivalry between them. I am merely a safe neutral party that happens to be accepted by both. This likely meant that Rite Aid had been told what ATCO was up to but wanted verification. Lovely!

This is not to say that I was answering summons when I left Terry Fox and headed towards the Sharks, but leaving I did none the less. My concern was more for the Sharks at this point. On arrival I found Drachen had been sent to the Sharks among others. Over the last week ATCO had been spreading out among the houses in an effort to improve relations between the safe houses. Shark City tattoos, Oxford School, Asgard, The Colony and Bluetone Productions all had received guests as well as many more. From what I could see it was a friendly exchange of companionship and information but Drachen pulled me to one side for a conversation. There was something far more important in what they were doing. We talked about the purpose of ATCO’s ambassadors and what information I could give them in private regarding that purpose. What I learned gave me knowledge that I was eager to bring back home. But all that I had learned left my mind from the greeting I received when I arrived back at Terry Fox.

“Something has happened to Malkoris, something bad. I think he is sick or something. He has been talking crazy.” My blood curdled and I bite back the scream that I could feel bubbling up in the back of my throat. Forcing a calm tone more to keep Beebles from breaking down than anything else, I asked first to make sure she had followed our established protocols.

“Yes, I took him to the room we set up, he did not argue with me on that. He is sitting there now. There are no bites, and he does not have a fever but Chyram, he is talking crazy.” I brought up my hand, “alright… Bees why don’t we go speak with him and sort this out.” My heart was starting to slow down. Perhaps this wasn’t as bad as Beebles was suggesting. It would not be the first time she had over reacted since the crisis. However, other times we had dismissed her fears and suffered from it, losing people or gathered supplies.

Entering the classroom that had been turned into a holding chamber I found Malkoris seated on a mattress with his back to a wall. I could see that the last few days had not been kind to him. There were cuts and scrapes, and one of his eyes was quite swollen, likely from a punch. He had a bandage over his head. I looked at it with a thoughtful frown only to have him growl out, “it’s not a bloody fuckn’ Zee bite. I got brained.” Realizing his word choice was unfortunate, Malkoris hastily added, “with some kind of bat. I got hit in the back of the head by a person. A fucking moose person!”

Beebles and I exchanged a look that got him to groan. “Come on, you talk to shark people for pete sakes!” I shrugged, my eyebrows rising. Alright he had a point. I took a seat across from my companion with Beebles collapsing beside me. “Okay Malk, tell me about these moose people. You mean they have heads like moose?”

“No! No that would be fuckn’ stupid. Who wants a moose head? Well maybe these nutters would, I don’t know.”

“Okay take in a slow breath, start at the beginning. Beebles go get him some water.” After she left the room I looked back to Malkoris who was scowling after her. His eyes focused back on me and I could see that he was in pain from the lump on his head. I cracked out some of the aspirin to pass over and he swallowed using the water Bees returned with. If anything that concerned me again. Malkoris was notoriously stubborn about not wasting pills unless he absolutely had to take them.

“You were gone two days. Supplies were running low, and I thought it is about time we had some fresh meat. I took one of the bikes, a rifle and head out to do some hunting. I road up towards Hope, but the roads are in bad shape. Lots of cars left on the Freeway. Hell there are Zees trapped inside some of them still trying to get out. I made good time heading towards Alberta and when I found a small road with signs towards a town called Creekside I took it.” I remained quiet listening as he continued.

“On the first night I made camp in an area easy to defend. There had been no crawlers and no walkers the whole day. I had no idea what was keeping the area clear but it was safe. I made a fire and used this stone structure I found. I figured if any Zees showed up I’d be able to defend myself. So I’m sitting there at the fire when I heard this sound.”

“A Zee?” Beebles broke in. She got a glare and was instantly cowed into being quiet again. The two of them must have been exchanging words since he had come back.

“No it was no fuckn’ Zee. It was unlike anything I had heard before and it was close. Then this big white face comes out of the dark. Not human, but this huge nose and these antlers, with these blue eyes. It was this big fuckn’ white moose. I figured it was going to trample me or something, so I grabbed my rifle. Besides, moose meat, I figured I hit the jackpot.”

I wisely decided at this point to not question how he expected to safely bleed and dress a kill the size of a moose by himself and continued to listen. “So I brought up the rifle and lined up the shot when it happened.”

“When, what happened?” I asked.

“When some fucker hit me from behind and knocked me out that’s what happened. When I woke up I was in the middle of their camp. It looks like some sort of resort town, and it is full of these crazy moose people.”

“Moose people but not with the heads of moose,” I helpfully inserted. “So more like centaurs but moose not horses?” Malkoris’ look towards me had me questioning my own sanity. It was a pretty stupid statement to make, but then again I do know non dead Zee like people, shark people and we are dealing with the walking dead on a daily basis.

“No,” his tone was starting to turn into one as if speaking to a particularly slow child. “It was a group of people who had formed some kind of moose cult.” That statement was not making any more sense than shark people. Again though, there really are shark people. I suppose my expression showed my doubt because he looked agitated. “I know how insane this sounds. Trust me I know, but there is over fifty people in the woods worshiping this big white moose. They have turned this small mountain town into a fortress. The whole group of them follows a woman named CarlyMJ. Seem to treat her like some matron figure or something, and what she says goes.”

“So what happened when you woke up then?” I was trying to keep any of my judgment from my voice. Just how hard had he hit his head?

“I woke up in this big cage. It was one of those walk in cages you would keep a big bird in, like a macaw. Guess they took it out of the vet clinic there. They were having a bonfire and celebrating a festival to having saved their sacred moose from another threat.” Malkoris rubbed at the bridge between his eyes and sighed. “Look, one of them, called herself misfitmeow, she brought me food and drink and we got to talking, her and this CarlyMJ. I guess after the crisis most had left the town to head to other areas. Those that stayed fought off the dead that showed up. Then about six months ago a child in the town got cornered by a Zee. Only out of nowhere they said this big albino moose charged out and smacked into the Zee. It stomped the poor bastard into the pavement and then turned around and left again. They took it as some kind of sign. They formed this cult of the moose and have been protecting it ever since. From Zee, from hunters like me and other wild life this cult won’t let anything happen to their moose. They even managed to domesticate some of the moose in the area to ride.”

I cleared my throat, “Malkoris, I am pretty sure that is not possible. Moose are not exactly the friendliest creatures. They do not domesticate. When you were in the woods did you eat any mushrooms?”

“No! I did not eat any fuckn’ mushrooms!” Malkoris leaned forward towards me when roaring this, “I saw them on the moose, alright? I did not believe it myself. CarlyMJ even claims that the moose have their own burial ground. You know like an elephant graveyard. Apparently these are fuckn’ special moose.”

I crinkled my nose but tried to sooth my agitated friend, “alright, moose people. A cult of the moose, and you were in a cage, so what happened then?”

“They partied well into the night. Drinking beer and sitting around the bonfire. Eventually I convinced one of them to let me out to use the pit toilet. When I got out, my guard had gone for another beer, and I slipped out. They probably didn’t notice I was gone before morning and I didn’t stick around. I headed straight back home, and when I got here, you still weren’t back. Beebles stuck me in the room and well now you’re back.”

I rubbed at the back of my neck. A cult of the moose, could I believe this? No, even after all I had seen there were stretches on how far I could reach. “Beebles go unpack the supplies I brought. Malkoris I’m going to have to follow the rules and look you over completely for any bites.” I shooed Beebles from the room and waited for Malkoris to strip down before checking him over. “You know I am having a hard time believing you right?” He probably got drunk, or ate something he shouldn’t have. Hell, maybe he even took drugs and does not want to admit it. All that mattered to me right now was that my friend was showing no signs of infection. Already my mind was returning to the threat I had learned about from ATCO.

In the darkness from the window a sound came into the room and I spun to stare out into the night. “What the fuck was that?!”

Malkoris’ tone was very grim when he responded, “that was a fuckn’ moose. Guess they tracked me home.” We exchanged looks and I left the room to let him redress. A cult of the moose was out there in the woods. Friend or foe remains to be seen.

  • Safe House: Creekside
  • CVC Level: 7
  • Current Recorded Members: 67
  • Overall Opinion:Most of my interaction with Creekside has been observation in Global Chat. There have been a few exceptions who have spoken directly to me either in the game or through email and helped answer some questions. The biggest question I was seeking was not one I could come out and ask directly. I have watched Creekside in Global and read postings in the forums where they have been both defensive and aggressive with some of the other top houses. While on the most part it’s in a joking manner there is a definite edge in their tone. This left me with two possibilities. Either I was observing a group of young teens to young adults acting out online, or I was dealing with a group of people who hand bonded beyond how you can online. I’m very pleased to find that the protective nature I have observed comes from true bonds of friendship. Many of Creekside are found in British Columbia and Alberta and some have even gotten together to meet in the real world. They do have members in the USA and other provinces of Canada as well as Australia and France. Creekside is in the process of attempting to plan a Safe House trip where they will meet up in Vegas. To attempt such an event takes a lot of organization and devotion to their group then many invest in a game like this. That brought back memories of times I used to gather with guild mates in MMOs for a geek weekend, the likes I have not experienced since EverQuest. So knowing that these are people who have gone beyond the game to form true bonds of friendship I am willing to ignore a lot of the aggressive behavior I have observed in Global, as it transcends smack talk and into something more. I would recommend this as a safe house to consider for people who are looking for that sort of experience and bond. They have communication kept private for the Safe House alone as well as some public channels. Perhaps in the future I will be in some of those channels, and I hope to continue to develop them in the lore I’m writing.
  • Communication: Palringo Room (Contact within CVC or Forums for exact locations), Safe House Chat, CVC Global Chat for Safe House invites (1/2 fees when invited), Please Stay Calm Forums, Creekside Blog (Currently a bit dated however their scribe is returning)

Comments
  1. misfitmeow says:

    Dear Chyram,

    I just wanted to send you this moosemail and say that I’m really sorry about what happened with Malkoris, it’s true we’re very protective of the great white moose and of each other. We did mean to let him out, (normally cage use is reserved for the willing you see), it’s just that thegrizzlybear has been making homemade moonshine and storing it in the drums that look like fresh water storage and Someone (probably Alecia and probably on purpose) ended up using it to fill up hot tub number three, and well… ummmm… Anyway, I’d like to extend an open invitation to you and yours for a visit at your convenience so that you can experience true Creekside hospitality. We can send out moose riders to collect you, we have an amazing lodge and guest house, malkoris probably missed it since we do tend to stoke the flames on the bonfire, a five-diamond chef, masseuse, (the men of cs should have a calendar devoted to them and actually when I’m with the cs girls I wish I was a- well, anyways, Oh yeah and we’ve got bazooka and are bad-ass zed killers. Right. So looking forward seeing you in our rocky mountain resort. I mean fort.

    Meowers truly,

    misfitmeow

    Disclaimer: Creekside resort I mean fort i mean fortress is not suitable for persons with a weak heart, low stamina or little imagination. Although we don’t mind to coach in two out of the three areas.

    • chyrampsc says:

      😀 You truly are awesome. 🙂 I will be sure to let Malkoris know once he stops waking up screaming about the mooses. 😉 One day when I am rich in supplies and money I hope to visit a number of the safe houses in person, Creekside being among them.

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