It was not easy to reach Algiers Point from Alcatraz. Not only was I facing distance, a lack of transportation but miles unprotected from the undead. Alcatraz was willing to help to a point. They had already lost a helicopter in a tragic accident that resulted in loss of life, equipment and an unleashing of some Monty Python like version of hell on earth: killer bunnies. It took some convincing before they were willing to take me part way in a helicopter so that I got a good distance from where I started. Thankful to not be travelling by boat, as I had previously demonstrated that I was not as skilled at doing so as I had hoped, I found myself on foot left in a clearing with still days of walking to do. Some searching led to finding an SUV with gas still in it and I made good time avoiding the major cities and their infestations. It bothered me to think of how many safe houses I was missing along the way and the people who might have helped me or whom I might have helped. People needed to be warned about this cult and yet I had no time if I wanted to get ahead of them and find the source. My only saving grace was that Searlait was certain the cult did not directly know of Terry Fox yet and that it had been more by accident that she and the cultist zealot had stumbled into us earlier. Malkoris was leading the others to keep quiet and hidden for now, working on our defenses so that we could withstand any direct attacks or at least have a fighting chance.
When I arrived at Algiers Point I could already see that the New Orleans safe house was used to surviving, overcoming and rebuilding from disasters. The zee outbreak did not affect the weather and I questioned living in such a volatile area that would give additional grief to deal with. However, I was not here to criticize but to seek information and possible guidance. Algier’s Point was an old neighborhood before the zee outbreak, and the old houses were mostly intact which was uncommon for many of the areas that had been ravaged by the disease. The safe house was located in a single block centered on Elmira. Several multi-family homes had been enclosed in fencing and connected through walkways above ground using second story windows. The inhabitants had taken great pains to keep the functional structure of the walkways while incorporating the elegance of the housing. In essence despite knowing better it appeared to me as if those walkways belonged there originally. The front gate was guarded at all times and it was a young man named Shado Rei who met me. Shado Rei was dressed curious for those I had become accustom to. Rather than fatigues or surplus army gear he wore a simple white shirt and white slacks. His feet had sandals, and though he had an impressive gun at his side Shado Rei gave off an impression almost spiritual or worldly in nature.
I greeted him, and gave my name to which he responded, “We were contacted to expect you though I had my doubts that you would be able to manage the trip given the distance. Please come in so I can seal the gate behind you.”
I followed the young man in and observed that another took his place at the gate while dressed in a similar fashion. “I can’t help but notice that you’re all dressed pretty formal, or maybe casual given the circumstances.” Inwardly I was fighting off scoffing what appeared to be inappropriate attire.
Shado Rei gave me a smile that was both patient and amused, “I would have to guess that you have never gone through the heat of a New Orleans summer. This uniform if I can call it that is not only practical with the heat but quickly shows if any of us are bitten or hit with any blood splatter. It also keeps us standing out among the other safe houses so that everyone is clear as to who we are given our current role in society.” We entered the front doors and I was struck by the vision of art that lined the walls. It was if I had walked into a rich man’s house that was overly eager to impress me with the vast wealth he had collected. Shado Rei noticed I had stopped following him and turned to see where my attention had gone, “yes the art. We’re in the process of trying to collect and preserve what we can from national archives that are exposed right now from the outbreak. It’s been a slow process but our archivists are confident we will make solid strides in protecting our national heritage.”
“So that’s the goal of your house then? You see your role as protectors of what used to be?” What use was this; I could not help myself from wondering. It was a noble gesture sure, but right now we had to fight just to survive until tomorrow.
“Our goals are more long term than most,” Shado Rei explained. “We’re attempting to form a true neutral house. In affect we are a house that can mediate between the disputes of other houses and find peaceful resolutions to prevent our fellow survivors from resorting to violence. Many of the pieces you see here have come from other safe houses delivering to us for safe keeping. It is a good way to unite those who don’t share other common interests.”
I tried to refrain from feeling offended at the suggestion that they alone were achieving this affect. Was not my work in seeking to spread information and find the source of the new threat much the same? I had to fight down the sensation that the house had an air of superiority to my eyes. Perhaps it was not really the work that the house was doing but that their actions mirrored mine while their numbers were much greater. I did not begrudge them this fact even if part of me felt a grumble inside. It was a lot of noise, but I still was not aware of what real actions they were taking beyond the art.
We passed a room where I could see several people dressed in white seated around chairs. They were having an intense argument of some sort with a very civilized appearance. As we walked on I bumped into a man who was approaching that room. chas928, a man in a striking military cut version of the white garment had been looking over notes and neither of us had seen each other when we bumped. His notes scattered on the ground and I apologized as I helped to gather them up. His eyes sharply looked me over before rubbing at his chin, the man responded, “Yes Chyram. I’ve heard of you. Even looked over some of what you had to offer. It’s all quite rubbish and a waste of time and pursuit. You’ve brought nothing new to the table yet, but perhaps you will show promise in the future. I hope you are not considering providing an application quite yet?”
Startled my gaze flickered from chas to Shado Rei before I answered, “no actually I came here to request assistance.”
“Rightly so, I would think you need it. However I do not have time for you. I’m certain that Shado Rei will see to it that you’re in contact with the appropriate parties.” He entered the room dismissing me and I turned, jaw dropping a bit to look at Shado Rei.
I saw a hint of flickering humor in Shado Rei’s face as he responded, “that is chas. He is a master at debating. In fact some of our scholars are ranked by number.”
Struggling to come to grips I muttered out, “928 debates won? He certainly is a master at debating. I don’t think I have his patience or that I’m nearly in his league for such circles of logic.” Shaking my head in wonderment at the fact that humanity still had people able to devote themselves to such pursuits in the wake of the zees I continued to follow Shado Rei before being taken to a room where another small group gathered.
I sat down in the back with Shado Rei and whispered, “So you’re a group of intellectuals really. Scholars, like an ancient version of a university recreated.”
Shado Rei hesitated before nodding his head and murmuring back, “I suppose that could be one interpretation, but our main focus is in our peace keeping work among the safe houses. We are often called in to settle disputes among the minor houses and even some of the major houses are starting to request our input and negotiations.”
My eyes turned to the far side of the room where the curtain pulled back and an Algiers Point woman appeared on stage. She opened her mouth and started to sing and I felt tears in my eyes. We had made such efforts to be quiet and not attract attention that I often had to forsake song and music to keep safe. I had never been a fan of opera before the outbreak, but to hear the pure joy leave this woman’s lips stirred my soul. For a moment I understood everything and knew that I knew nothing. Her song ended and there was polite clapping within the room. My own was less restrained and received a few amused glances from those in white.
Next to appear was a man who stepped out onto the stage. Immediately my skin crawled, though I was unable to pinpoint why. He had no appearance of sickness or plague, though his skin was unnaturally white to my eyes. He was dressed in darker clothes unlike the others in the room marking him as much an outsider as me. Opening his mouth brought forth another song, but this one sang with corruption. It was not the voice nor the tune but the words. I felt my stomach twist in discomfort as I took in what was being said. I was seeing a corrupter, here in the middle of Algiers Point. A dark stain among the white cloth and yet none about me showed discomfort or displeasure. Instead there was a polite interest with guarded expressions. I knew then that I was looking at a cultist. And what was more alarming was that Algiers Point members likely knew it as well.
The phrase caught my attention, “I can go out with a bang!” and I leaped to my feet. My gun was in my hand before I fully was aware of my intentions pointing at the singer. In response to my actions, the man’s face twisted into a gruesome grimace of a smirk and he bared his teeth at me in a biting like motion. The action triggered my already tense nerves and I fired in cold blood upon the unarmed man hitting him square in the center of his chest. The room erupted in screams and movement as some members fled the room while others drew their weapons on me. Shaken I stood there, my gun still in hand pointing at the stage.
Shado Rei gently reached out and took the gun from my hand. I started to babble, “You don’t understand. That man was here to kill you, to kill you all. You don’t know who he is or what he’s here for.”
My voice was cut short by a firm tone whose youth was in the voice though the maturity shine in his eyes, “Ms. Chyram we are fully aware that he is, or rather was a member of the same cult you are seeking out. We pride ourselves on being neutral on all houses, even those who are unorthodox in their approach to save humanity.”
I stared at the speaker, “he had no interest in saving you or anyone else. They want us all to be dead. Who knows how many safe houses they have already wiped out and if they get a foot in here, a safe house that others are leaning on for support do you have any idea of the damage that will cause?”
The young man shook his head at me and responded, “I am fully aware of both their designs and have no intention of allowing that to happen. We had hoped to learn more about the group, and perhaps even get an idea as to where they are located, but that’s not likely going to happen from his corpse is it? Even should he rise back up.” The reproach in the tone cut me to the bone and my face flushed in shame. His eyes turned to Shado Rei, “you were responsible for this guest. I am also aware of her goals, and while they are similar to our own, she is clearly over eager, and overly hasty in her responses. Get her out of my house, now.” Shado Rei’s hand came down upon my shouldered to guide me out of the room.
I was still shaking by the time I was led to the front door where Shado Rei handed me back my own gun. In a quiet voice he spoke to me, “our leader needs to make our policies clear. We are strictly neutral with all safe houses, though occasionally members struggle with that neutrality. When you need help, or when we learn information it will be sent to you. However due to your actions it will likely be some time before we can learn more to assist with fighting this threat.”
I felt my eyes fill with tears as I stumbled out the front door and headed for the SUV. Had I come all this way for nothing? Had I made allies or enemies with Algiers Point? Worse, had I somehow put them in danger by my actions? Was my actions even justified? For the first time I had killed a man who did not directly threaten me with a weapon. At that moment, as I started up the SUV it occurred to me. Terry Fox has gone to war and picked a side. It was time to gather strong allies who were committed to fight against this threat and not stand on the side lines. Of course all that assumed I could get back home in one piece uninfected.
Cult Member’s Song:
- Safe House: Algiers Point
- CVC Level: 7
- Current Recorded Members: 111
- Overall Opinion: My opinion on Algiers Point is complicated. Personally I would not join them, as I would question if I was welcome by all the members and I have no need or wish to cause waves. That being said I would recommend them to others without hesitation. They have an extremely active blog site with information. If you are a member and signed up to get email updates you will be notified swiftly of any hordes that appear. Often their website gives me information or points of view I hadn’t considered. I would recommend browsing their site for game tips and hints. Of all the safe houses they are the only ones I’ve seen attempt with as I understand it some success to have an actual book club where the members gather together to chat in a chat room and discuss what they read. However successful it is, the fact that they are going to that effort speaks well of the members. I’ve made more than a few friends in Algiers Point and I’m fond of a great number of their membership. They have a written policy to not cause drama and urge their members to keep from doing so in Global Chat. I’ve seen a few members who have not respected that policy, but the majority do, and more than a few go out of their way to help new people to the game so this safe house has a great deal of respect from me.
- 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, Algiers Point Blog