She decided to search the ruins of the house. Sometimes there were still good things inside, medicine, bandages, clothes. It was dangerous, but the outpost needed supplies, one of the settlements had recently moved into the walls. There were more people and more chances of an attack.
She could hear the ghouls shuffling through the dead leaves outside, so she would need to be quiet. She slipped though the broken window and crept across the dusty floor. She was on the look out for traps, The Trapper having been spotted in the area a few days ago. She had never seen him, but the stories about the bodies found in his wake would make even the most hardened soldier tremble.
She searched the kitchen, nothing useful, just ancient food from before the bombs. She found some clothes in decent shape in one of the bedrooms. The house yielded nothing else of value. She slipped past the hoard, they were getting distracted by their own footsteps in the leaves.
Once they were out of ear shot she broke into a jog, keeping out of the leaves. The walls of the city rose up to greet her and she sprinted the last leg of her journey. She was greeted warmly by the guards as they locked the gate behind her.
“No trouble with the hoard today?” One asked as she caught her breath.
“They are noisy enough to hear coming a mile away.” She swigged metallic water from her bottle. She pulled the clothes out of her bag and tossed them to the guard. “Nothing else good out there today.”
“Too bad. At least someone will be a little warmer.” The guard looked at the clothes.
“We’re going to need all the help we can get this winter, its coming up fast.” She walked up the street and went to her bunk in the small house she shared with the other scavengers.
She crashed onto her bed, exhausted. Her stomach growled at her forcefully. She poked though her bag lazily, trying to find her food voucher. She was falling asleep and gave up quickly, opting to go to bed instead.
The morning came streaming in the window, warming her cold face. She rolled out of bed and took care of the morning necessities in the bucket at the end of the hall. Grabbing her bag she kicked her housemates awake.
“We got work to do today.” She shouted, they grumbled and got up slowly.
She went down to The Kitchen, handing over a voucher and was issued a plate. The plate of food was cold, like always, but it filled her grumbling stomach.
She headed out the gate, refilling her water bottle at the river that ran just outside of town. In the forest the air was musty with dead things. The hoard passed though recently, but they were long gone now. She listened carefully for any other things that might be lurking in the brush. Deeming it safe she continued thorough the forest. A twig snapped and she dropped to the ground. There were no more sounds, that didn’t mean it was safe. She laid prone in the dirt hoping that whatever it was didn’t see her.
Her mind raced as she heard a tapping, in code. She recognized it and stood up. She held her hands up as the other person approached with their gun raised.
“Who are you?” They asked.
“A Scavenger from Hope.” She sized him up. He was either a hunter or a settler. She didn’t recognized him so he must not have been from Hope. “You are?”
“The Trapper.” He grinned, the gun went off with a bang.