"Who are you?" He managed to stutter in his surprising American accent, he was still in a fierce state of shock. The girl broke out of her transfixion and returned her attention to his leg which appeared to have a large gash slicing into his thigh. "Right now? Your doctor." she smiled at him warmly and glanced around her "do you...do you need something?" He asked- his face was the colour of crisp fresh fallen snow on a bright morning. "Yes...ah!" The girl found a large leaf, about 10 inches big. She held it up and carefully placed it over the wound which she decided to treat properly when she had the chance later. "What’s your name?" He managed to mutter; she glanced at him and grinned slightly- wiping away some stray mud from her forehead. "Cassidy."
He whimpered as she pressed unwillingly harder onto his already injured leg. "Ouch" he chuckled softly "sorry..." she returned her gaze to the wound. It wasn’t yet infected, but it would be soon. "Riker" he managed to breath, Cassidy looked up momentarily then back to where she had just come from. "Lovely to meet you" Cassidy said politely, her mind on other things. She told him firmly to hold onto the leaf for a moment, she needed to collect something.
Cassidy comprehended, as she went to snatch her backpack and weaponry, which she would have to find a way to drag Riker back to the cabin. The way she had to come just to get to the edge of the valley had been excruciating so ‘home’ happened to be a long way away and night was still falling with every step she took.
She returned to Riker who was looking at the rotting corpse with grotesque filled eyes. "Erm..." Cassidy took a seat next to him on the floor and pointed to the embankment and beyond. "If I'm going to cure you we need to make a move, I'm sorry" she told him grabbing another leaf of the same size and replacing it. She gently peeled the other off and let out a breath she didn't know she was holding. "I think I can walk, but I may need some help." He said wearily glancing at the leaf which had just been pulled off. It was a murky colour, a mix of red and green creating brown. He let himself shudder. "I can't help you the entire journey but I will try" she promised placing his muscular arm over hers, allowing the weight to be slightly lifted off his injury.
They began to tackle the incline together, a team of two and complete strangers. Cassidy couldn’t help but kick herself for the stupidity she went through during that period of a few seconds. The sight of another human was too overwhelming; it was like she couldn’t think straight. She realised that in those few seconds she could have been killed. But as of yet she didn’t know whether that was a ruthless or positive thing.
They hobbled together but soon Riker managed to stagger on his own. They both watched together as the stunning sunset slowly transitioned into twilight, the crimsons and the tangerines, hot pinks and violets faded into deep thick blues and twists of everlasting plum. It wasn’t long after that they both began to develop into a minor conversation. "Thanks for that back there..." he whispered looking at her with a glance of appreciation and respect. "You looked positively terrified” Cassidy teased. Riker, although unfamiliar with the stranger who saved his life, felt complete and utter trust towards her.
"So what happened to your family?" He asked already acknowledging it was a hazardous inquiry. Cassidy, in any other situation would have been wounded by the mention of anything to do with her family. On the other hand she knew now that she couldn't be the only one who lost everything and somehow she sensed Riker meant no damage towards her. "It was the beginning of the colonisation; my father disappeared as he was a navy general- he died fighting for us. My mother…” Cassidy recalled the nightmares and hallucinations; the premature daybreaks she would awaken, screaming for the Lord to offer them back. Perhaps this outsider didn’t need to know everything. “She…I don’t know what happened to my mother…I remember seeing her death at my feet but the only one I really have faith in is my eldest brother Will. He joined the Revolution and promised one day he would come back… to find me again.” Cassidy couldn't believe she had confessed to all that. A stranger she barely even knew just learned the reason behind all the agony and grief she had gone through over the past months. “And you have hope in him?” Riker questioned curiously, she replied quickly “Of course.” It was at this exact moment when one horrid, poisoned question crossed Cassidy’s mind- Was Will ever coming back for her?
It was silent for a moment whilst she thought about the pressing question; Riker glanced at her, seeing she was distressed he told her reassuringly "I'm sorry" The words were barely perceptible but she succeeded to hear them clear as day. Cassidy brushed it away with an enforced smile and a resigned shrug of her shoulders "it’s over now...I suppose death would be welcomed at any expenses…" Riker elevated an eyebrow before opposing: "and give them what they want? They’ve taken almost everything from me; no way can they take anymore." Cassidy watched him inquisitively "you're a rebel?" "I didn’t think so...I guess it’s unavoidable though." Riker shrugged but both of them knew they couldn’t make a metamorphosis even if they bothered. And even trying seemed questionable anymore, even for someone as strong-minded as Cassidy. The ghost of the problem suspended over Cassidy like a bleak mist “William is coming back…isn’t he?”