Dark Lady Devinity
One thing that the Engineer had noticed since his "internship" started was that the sniper was always gone. Although that had its advantages: Engie and Snippy seemed to get along just fine but that may not be the case if it was Alex and Charles. The less contact the two had then the less chance of Snippy learning who he was sharing the ruined world with. Not that Gromov had any issue with sharing his identity as Captain's luck should protect him as long as the Captain wanted him around. It had only been recently that Gromov realised who Snippy and Pilot were himself.
It was the strange nature of Snippy's disappearances that bothered Gromov. There was no need to search for food for Gromov had plenty of that at the bunker. Although this did mean that the sniper had more time on his hands and thus received more and more ridiculous shopping lists from the Captain, along with strange missions. Then there was the constant search for ammunition and useful tools.
And yet that still didn't account for half of Snippy's time away from the others.
Snippy claimed to have been abducted by aliens multiple times and had apparently spent some time in a whale. Gromov didn't necessarily believe the other man but the memory of a bloody, pulsating mass of skeletons attacking his bunker kept him from being too sceptical.
But, in the end, why should it matter to Gromov that an annoying paper pusher and tour guide was always gone? It wasn't like he needed him.
Pilot was always there for the first few weeks that Gromov spent with the group. The crazed man was constantly following Captain like a love sick puppy. As he spent most of his time trying to ignore Pilot, Gromov never once thought about who the aviator was. Then one day a spider had crawled onto Pilot's jacket. The man panicked and tore his jacket off; sending the article of clothing flying into Gromov's masked face. When Gromov removed the jacket he saw the name of the owner stitched inside it. SG Christophorus Hatchenson stood out accusingly. Gromov vaguely remembered a pilot by that name. Not that it mattered because, judging by the state of Pilot's mental health, that man was long gone.
And then Pilot was gone soon after. Gromov didn't know where and he didn't know for how long. All he knew was that Pilot had left to find a new flying machine for Captain and it would be weeks before anyone saw the green-goggled man again.
The first time Captain left was an unpleasant surprise. Snippy, who had been at the base for once, explained that such events weren't uncommon. Captain had his own matters and missions to attend to, even if it was only going to a ruined McDonald's to order a meal that he'd never get and to yell at skeletal servers. Gromov didn't like it when the Captain was gone as the German's incredible good luck would be gone with him. And that did matter. For Gromov was a coward and he needed one thing that he could rely on to keep him safe in the dead world.
One day all three men were gone, leaving Gromov on his own. That suddenly mattered too.
Another day, he wondered what the others would do if he was the one that was suddenly gone. Would that matter?
Finally, it happened. They couldn't have gone on the way they had been forever. Gromov was left to watch over the body, a silent one-man wake, while the other two decided what to do next.
Not that it mattered that a member of their team was gone, Gromov realised. One or more of the men were always gone for one reason or another. No, Gromov decided, what mattered was that once one of them was gone they might never come back.
An: I left the last bit vague because I wanted it to be possible for it to be Snippy, Pilot or Captain to be the one who died. Death is unpredictable after all. Hope everyone enjoyed!
Based on the fact that we have seen quite a few strips where Snippy, Pilot and Captain were all having adventures on their own.