Emerald City

“Sam?” Graphic asks as Wicked says.
“Friendly mutations?”
Somehow FREAKS sounds less offensive. She finally dusts the rubble from her hat and coat as she stands getting her chance to really examine their new discovery. There is life beyond the wall, not just on the coast, not just beyond the ocean-you can fucking breathe out here!
He’s tall, blonde and lanky. Wearing a peculiar leather jumpsuit, faded blue with a faded yellow sun on the right breast.
“Yeah, I mean… sorry…uh what-”
“Back home they call us FREAKS,” Graphic laughs popping to her feet, “Where you from?” she’s moving on, she doesn’t care and never really has-just labels right?
“uh-oh um well I’m headed to-”
Wicked interrupts, “Come from, where’d you come from?“ she doesn’t like new people. Sometimes, they end up being Graphic.
He takes offense even though he should understand he’s been in The Barren long enough.
“Is that really important? The past and al-”
“Past is who we are, so-who are you?”
As the exchange is made Graphic looks from one to the other her expression round and happy. She loves meeting new people, especially with Wicked.
He sighs and shakes his head this particular encounter doesn’t seem worth it, but looking at the girls
“California,” the sound is dry. He’s waiting for the reaction thinking-here it comes.
“What’s California?” the girls both say in unison Graphics head tilted, Wickeds brow furrowed.
His jaw drops. Californians think they’re so special.
“What do you mean-What’s California?-It’s California: sunny, our door is always open.California:the globe’s one time longest running super power-California,” his shoulders shrug and face scrunches, he’s frustrated, this isn’t the first time he’s had this discussion.
They look at each other before Wicked’s eyes light up.
“Oh do you mean the Nation of the Western Coast?”
He sighs again, another stupid name.
“Seriously, Nation of the Western Coast? That’s worse than Lost Kingdom of Angles, but yeah I think we’re thinking of the same pla-”
“Why’d you leave? Exile or something cri-”
“Technically it’s a crime to leave but,” he mumbles quietly and quickly, “Where are you two from? Always lived in The Barrens?”
Wicked has lost all interest. He’s alive, in The Dead Zone, and that’s about as much use she can see him being worth. Unfortunately, her doe eyed companion has other thoughts.
“No, we’re new here,” all smiles, like a puppy, “Where’d you say you were headed?”
The pair begin talking he says something about The Enclave, but that’s as much as Wicked overhears. She’s at a window now looking out into The Dead Zone, a place they were taught could not sustain life any longer. A dead, empty place. Our Liberated FREAK looks out in awe of the natural moon, painting the landscape the oddest blue. She breathes deep. The air still burns, but she likes it.
“Wicked!” Graphic squeals “We’re going to The Incline!”
“Enclave,” he corrects dryly watching her jump up and down.