Apr. 14th, 2011

ilcuoreardendo: (Vulpes)
Isa’s not far outside Nipton when the wind changes direction.

Her sunglasses and the scarf she’d bought off a trader back at the Outpost give her some protection from the glass-shard sands striking her skin. But the acrid smell of old rubber burning, the scorch of sulfur, and a rancid musk slip right through the thin cotton and settle on the back of her tongue.

Years ago, she’d traveled with her father on one of his many trips from their shop in McDermitt to New Reno. He usually overnighted in Love Lock to resupply and catch up on the trade-route news, but miles outside the town, they were stopped by an NCR blockade. The people in Love Lock had caught a deadly and highly contagious virus. The order was quarantine. And containment.

As her father ushered her to the detour road that wound up a small plateau, she’d caught sight of a masked soldier carrying a long, wrapped package that he tossed on a fire at the edge of town.

Her father’d gone grey in the face when she asked him about it. But then, as always, he was honest with her.

The thick, sickly-sweet stench of bodies on fire had followed Isa for the rest of the trip.


In 16 years, she still hasn't gotten the memory of burning human flesh out of her nose.

And that's what she smells now; faint and lingering like a bad dream.


.....

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