"So, Daz," Crusher said while they walked through the city together. "Why aren't we taking one of those fancy trucks with us?"
"I doubt we'll be able to use them properly for a while," Daz replied passively.
"Why's that?" Curiosity filled Crusher's muscular face.
"Simple. Too much debris and too many cars on the roads. It was a hassle bringing them back, and I only got them because they'll be useful once I fix up this city," Daz explained.
Like he said, using the trucks now would only be a waste of fuel and time. He needed to control all of Waterford first and then clean up and repair every road before he could think of using any vehicles efficiently.
"Ah, that makes sense. Where are we going anyway? I don't recognise this part of the city," Crusher asked while she looked at the mansions and wealthy looking manors that the two were passing.
"Never been here before?" Daz asked.
"Never needed to. I was only in Waterford for a weight-lifting competition, hahaha," Crusher answered while she scratched the back of her head.
"This is the upper district. I still lived with my family before the apocalypse began. And as it happens, my parents were pretty rich. I never really got along well with them and they were rarely around, so the house was mostly mine," Daz revealed with a shrug.
"That's weird," Crusher said lightly.
"What is?" Daz didn't think he'd said anything particularly odd, so he was a bit perplexed.
"You don't seem like a rich kid, also, why is your base at the skip site and not at your home? I'm assuming you lived in one of these mansions with a fancy gate and wall, yeah?" Crusher truly did find it strange how Daz had set up shop at the skip site of all places.
"Ah, that makes sense. Like I said, I never really got along well with my parents. They wanted me to follow their footsteps, I wanted nothing to do with their work. So I guess I rebelled? I was working at the skip site," Daz replied with little care in his tone.
"Heh, that's interesting. You don't seem like the type to rebel so harmlessly," Crusher said with a light laugh.
"I'm not. There were other reasons I wanted to be at the skip site, but it hardly matters anymore. We're here," Saying this, Daz pointed at a large mansion that was slightly separated from the rest and clearly looked more wealthy.
"'Hamilio Estate'? Is your surname 'Hamilio'? What a weird name," Crusher stated with a chuckle escaping her lips. The name 'Daz Hamilio' just didn't fit in her mind.
Shaking his head, Daz replied. "Nah, that name has absolutely nothing to do with me."
With that, he ignored Crusher's mild laughter and put the code into the machine next to the gate. A red error sign popped up on the device's display, and a frown made itself known on Daz's face.
"Forgot your code? Hahaha," Crusher teased.
"No. It was changed," Daz's frown deepened. "You're in there, aren't you, Rose?"
Silence followed. Crusher looked confused and took her sledgehammer out from its holster on her back. "Want me to smash the gate open? I totally can if you need me to."
Daz waved his hand. "No need. I know you can hear me, Rose. Open up, it's me, Darenzo."
'Darenzo? So Daz is a nickname. The more you know, huh?' Crusher thought to herself.
"How do you know I'm in here?" the emotionless voice of a young girl replied through the intercom.
"Do you think I'm stupid? I only came back here for you. There's no way I'd let my little sister rot away in this shitty mansion. Now, disable the defensive mechanism, that I know you have activated, and open up. I need to grab a few things before I'll take you back somewhere safer," Daz claimed with a surprising amount of joy in his voice.
"It's great that she's alive. I was worried that she wouldn't have been holding anything considered a weapon, but I'm thankful she was. Her intelligent mind will be exceedingly useful if I'm to take over the world," Daz thought to himself.
"... You were just thinking how useful I'd be now that you know I'm alive, weren't you?" the young sound of Rose's voice replied monotonously.
"... I have no idea what you're talking about," Daz replied calmly. "Please hurry up and turn off the Defenses. I'd rather not destroy them. This place might still be of use in the future."
"Fine. Always thinking about the pros and cons... if only you could have applied that mind of yours to something more practical than managing trash." Rose's words didn't match her age, and Crusher could tell that despite her grumblings, she was happy to hear Daz's voice.
"So...'defensive mechanism'?" Crusher asked while looking around at the wall and gate curiously.
"Yeah. I've never seen it being used before, but I think guns pop out of the walls? I dunno. I have fairly... odd parents," Daz shrugged in response.
"Rocket launchers?" Crushers eyes sparkled.
"Nope. I asked too, but Dad said it was a waste of money," Rose answered in Daz's stead.
"But a defensive mechanism and a mansion aren't?" Crusher quipped.
"I asked the very same thing. 'Kay, the gates unlocked now. There's not enough power left to waste on opening it, so do that yourself, Darenzo." With that, Rose left the intercom. She was more than likely heading towards the lobby to meet Daz and Crusher.
Daz walked up to the nine-foot-tall gate made of gold-plated steel and pushed it lightly. Walking through into the lush courtyard, Crusher asked Daz a question.
"Who exactly were your parents? Both you and your sister seem pretty weird, hahaha!" Seemingly not caring too much, Crusher laughed.
"Our parents are a lot of things. Though I'd rather not talk about them, to be honest. Like I said earlier, I don't get along with them very swimmingly," Daz replied without looking at Crusher.
Taking the hint, Crusher remained silent and happily rested her arms on her sledgehammer. The duo quickly reached the front door, and without any hesitation, Daz opened the front door and strode in.
"It really is you, Darenzo," a young girl, no older than ten-years-old, said with a relieved look on her face. She was wearing a simple set of pink pyjama's and her platinum blonde hair was trailing across the floor.
Crusher momentarily looked shocked. Not due to the fact that Rose was incomparably beautiful when compared to how plain Daz looked, but at the fact that she was sat in a wheelchair.
"Of course it's me. How many other people even know that you exist, not including your internet friends?" Daz sneered. he then walked up to the seated girl and gently placed a hand on her head.
"I missed you, Rose. I'm happy to see that you're fine. I wanted to come get you sooner, but I was pretty busy." For once, Daz seemed to actually be telling the truth regarding his feelings.
Rose looked up at her brother with a puzzled face. "Why are your hair and eyes grey, Darenzo?"
"Long version, or short version?" Daz replied with a smile.
"Short." Rose seemed to be enjoying Daz's hand on her head, despite her deadpan face.
"I evolved." As promised, Daz kept his explanation dramatically short.
"Ah, that makes sense. The system did say something about evolution when I was probing it for information. I couldn't learn much without a higher grade of access, though," Rose said as if Daz evolving was the most trivial thing in the world.
"Well, I'll leave you to get acquainted with Crusher here while I grab some of my things. Oh, by the way. Call me 'Daz' from now on. You know that I never liked my name," Daz requested.
"Sure thing, Daz," Rose replied instantly. With that, Daz went up the central flight of stairs, presumably to go to his bedroom.
"So, your brother," Crusher said while looking around the lobby they were in, admiring the paintings and expensive looking furniture.
"Yes?" Rose remained motionless as she responded.
"He's pretty weird, huh? Hahaha," Crusher chuckled.
A distant and almost saddened look entered Roses eyes. "... Yes, he is, isn't he?"
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