Chapter 1: A whole lot of Firsts!
"To live in this world, you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go" -Mary Oliver
It was a red, cloudy day at the Sierra Madre. The sky was, as usual, a thick red. The Villa looked dead, like a old knotted tree. But within its walls, buildings, life . . . or maybe not life, but something, moved through it like blood in the veins. Ghost People shuffled through the streets, out of sight, silent, and for the most part, single minded. They didn't think, didn't feel, didn't have individual ideas. Just hunt, capture, turn. Hunt, capture, turn. Hunt, capture, turn. Hunt, capture, turn.
Seeker was no different. Seeker hunted, captured, and brought the captured into the depths of the Villa. Seeker had never known another life, no Ghost had. Seeker was just another Ghost in the crowd, another mindless thing, wandering the streets.
Another Wastelander was scrounging through the Villa, trying to figure out how to get into the Sierra Madre. Seeker watched, from behind a pillar, through Seeker's glowing green goggles. The Wastelander was gripping one of those strange metal things, that shot metal. It was small, black, and dangerous. Seeker had seen other of Seeker's kind die from that thing, their arms and legs blown off. Seeker tried to move closer, a knife spear in Seeker's hand, ready to strike. Hunt, capture, turn, hunt, capture, turn. Seeker accidently hit a rock with Seeker's foot, causing it to hit the boot of the Wastelander. He spun around and shot Seeker in the shoulder. Seeker's head hit a rock, and everything went black, then back to green, like all Ghost's sight. Seeker wheezed in pain, falling to the ground. Seeker's spear dropped to the ground, and rolled away.
"Y-you freak! Y-you want my treasure! Y-you can't st-stop me!" He cried out, taking out a cosmic knife, edging closer and closer to Seeker. Seeker felt something, a . . . Seeker couldn't describe it. The feeling like . . . Seeker was facing imminent danger, and didn't want to. Seeker was feeling . . . feeling . . . F-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-fear. Seeker was very much scared. Seeker had never felt fear . . . Seeker had never felt! Seeker was feeling so many things, Seeker felt Seeker's chest make a strange thumping motion, Seeker felt afraid of the Wastelander, Seeker felt the pain from Seeker's wound, Seeker felt! But Seeker didn't have time to take in these new feelings. Seeker crawled back against the wall, trying to get away from the Wastelander. The Wastelander made a swipe with his blade, nearly hitting Seeker. Seeker, reacting, kicked the Wastelander in the shin. The Wastelander dropped the black thing, grabbing his shin in pain. Seeker gazed at the thing,the device that hurt so many Ghosts, and then . . . grabbed it. Seeker stood up and pointed it at the man, like Seeker had seen other people do so many times. Seeker pulled back the hammer, the Wastelander looked down the barrel of the police pistol, his eyes widening, Seeker pulled the trigger. . . .
Seeker ran through the lone Villa library, grabbing books, any books, that were readable. There were few, but the ones Seeker did find had so much to tell. Seeker found a nice patch of light, under a lap, sat down, and began mentally
reading the book. Seeker had been in the library for quiet a few days, gorging through every book Seeker could. Seeker started out learning to read with a simple book called "Go Dogs Go". Seeker didn't know what a dog was, but from the pictures, they were fluffy, drove weird machines called cars, and were . . . were . . . Seeker opened another book, a book with lots of words and their meanings. Seeker stopped on the word Seeker was looking for. "Cute", thats it, dogs are cute. After that book, Seeker grabbed and read every book Seeker could find. Seeker very much wanted to learn . . . about everything. And Seeker learned so many things from reading. Seeker knew math (Two+Two=Four), Seeker knew science (Seeker tried to potato clock, but couldn't find a potato), Seeker knew how to spell (Seeker wrote on the walls of the Villa for practice), Seeker even learned how to draw (Seeker drew funny cartoons under the desks). Seeker liked to learn, and Seeker learned more, the more Seeker read.
Seeker also took another thing from the Wastelander, a weird device called a Pip-Boy 3000. Seeker could do so many things with it, after Seeker read the manual. Seeker learned, that there were other places than the Villa, than the Sierra Madre. A place called the Mojave, a bigger place, with no red cloud, no crazy Wastelanders, and no "treasure". Seeker liked that. Seeker knew Seeker was different, the other Ghost's didn't have thoughts, or dreams . . . or even slept. Seeker liked sleeping! Seeker liked it a lot! Seeker could dream while Seeker was asleep! Seeker liked dreaming even more than sleeping! Seeker's dream were about big skies, nice people, and big cities. Cities full of lights. Seeker knew Seeker couldn't stay in the Sierra Madre, not anymore. Things were different now, Seeker . . . Seeker had . . . had . . . Seeker was Seeker! Seeker wasn't Ghost People, Seeker was Seeker! Seeker made up Seeker's mind, Seeker was going to run away! Far away, to the Mojave! Seeker opened and read a book about outdoor survival, and another book about how to survive in a post-apocalyptic world (Seeker thought it was funny). Seeker even played a ComPuter game called "Wasteland", so Seeker knew what to expect (Seeker found by accident, and had to time Seeker's self, so Seeker wouldn't rot Seeker's new found brain!). Seeker grabbed a duffle bag, filled it with bullets, repair parts, trade items, random things, and books. Seeker couldn't speak but . . . Seeker knew Seeker couldn't speak, so Seeker would have a hard time communicating with normal people, but . . . Seeker had to get out, Seeker had to know more. Seeker wanted to see the blue skies, and the nice people, and even the big cities!
Seeker grabbed Seeker's knife spear and headed to the pavilion. A man with a white beard and odd robes ran through the pavilion, a big blue . . . or maybe purple creature followed behind. Seeker hid behind a pillar, watching silently. The man had a gleam in his eyes, the kind of gleam that those Wastelanders had when they wanted something so bad . . . they were willing to kill freinds, partners, . . . family. Seeker didn't have a family, Seeker never had a family. But Seeker read about families, in books. Seeker would very much like to be apart of a family. Seeker suddenly remembered something important! Seeker waited for the man and his big friend to leave, then, Seeker ducked into a manhole, giving the thousands of Ghost People one finally glowing gaze. Seeker often was disheartened (a word Seeker just learned) that Seeker's kin couldn't share in Seeker's new found individualism, in Seeker's new found need to know, in Seeker's new found emotions. They trudged through the streets like zombies, never doing anything else. Just hunt, capture, turn, hunt, capture, turn, hunt, capture, turn. Seeker shook those thoughts away. Seeker didn't like that Seeker did bad things to people, Seeker didn't know better. But Seeker was determined (Another new word!) to make up for it. Seeker looked at they all, the thousands of blank, empty, mindless Ghosts that filled the sewers of the Villa. Seeker would find a way . . . a way for them all to be free, like Seeker. And Seeker would find it . . . in the Mojave.
Seeker looked back, at the Villa, at the Madre, one last time. Seeker was leaving the only home Seeker knew. Seeker felt, oh what was the word! Seeker took out a pocket version of the book with lots of words. "Sad", Seeker felt sad. But Happy too! Seeker liked that word, happy. Seeker felt that a lot over the past few weeks. Lots of happy . . . Seeker felt joyous. Seeker looked at the name tag Seeker made, which had "Seeker" scribbled on it. Seeker felt proud, happy, . . . Seeker felt grand. Seeker opened the gates . . . and made the first step of Seeker's new life.