Hey all, so I think I'm going to take a little different approach to both the video game storyline as well as the TV show storyline. You'll see how that happens soon enough, I hope you like it!
The first light of day broke through the trees that Clementine was laying under; the bright rays making her squint and rub her eyes. She'd been lucky to find an area that wasn't completely infested with walkers, as ever since she left Savannah it had been a struggle just to survive. Not that it wasn't a struggle before though of course. Clementine just hadn't been forced to do so on her own before, and she slightly grimaced at the thought of it.
Christa and Omid were killed in their sleep by a group of bandits during the night. They had set up camp after they fled the town, and were completely sure that nothing would be around that would hurt them. 'How wrong they'd been…' Clementine thought, as she recalled waking up in the middle of the night to Christa's muffled screams of terror, and Omid's desperate attempts to kill the brute that was attacking her. He never made it five feet before the gang leader shot him in the head. Clementine had to sit and hide in the surrounding bushes for the entire night until she was sure the bandits were gone.
As she checked the remains of her friends and former caregivers, tears welled up in her eyes as she saw the awful mess that those monsters had left. Blood was spilled all over the campsite, the tents and backpacks were pillaged (including hers), and bullet shells littered the ground near the bodies. Clementine buried her face in her hands and plopped to her knees in front of Omid. They didn't deserve this. Nobody did. They had been so nice and caring for her, and in one fell swoop their lives had been taken. "Why are there so many bad people now?" Clementine said aloud to herself.
She still didn't know the answer to that question. She was terrified of the lurkers already, so the thought of not even being able to trust regular people made her sick. 'Well, not all of them are bad at least,' Clementine thought, with her memories of Lee coming back to haunt her.
"Lee… I'm sorry… so sorry…" Clementine said as she chucked a stone at a nearby tree.
Clementine almost fell over in shock. Breathing heavily, she pulled out Lee's old gun and swung it around, desperately trying to find whatever stranger had crept up on her.
"Wh-who are you? Show y-yourself!" she yelled out, her hands trembling around the base of the weapon. Her eyes grew wide as she noticed movement coming from some bushes, as a tall man with some kind of torn-up uniform came out his hands raised in an effort to calm the child.
He knelt down slightly to match her level and fixed his gaze upon the young girl's. "Sorry miss, that probably wasn't the best way to come over here," the man smirked slightly and started again, "why don't you put that down so we can talk?"
Clementine shook her head furiously and continued to point the gun in the man's direction. No way was she going to risk her safety again by putting her trust in some stranger out in the woods. She'd already had enough of that when she was kidnapped by that madman back in Savannah, before Lee came to save her.
"Can I ask you your name at least? Then maybe you'll see I'm not a threat."
"C-Clementine…" she stumbled across the words, as if she hardly knew who she was anymore. She sure as hell wasn't the same girl that she was a year ago. 'Swear…' she reminded herself, but then focusing right back on the man.
He smiled again and replied carefully, "That's a nice name. Nice to meet you Clementine. I'm-"
He was interrupted by a loud gunshot and the groans of some nearby walkers coming from the northeast. Clementine turned in fear at the sound, she'd had her fair share of those things for one lifetime.
"Clementine, you need to come with me, okay? We can't let those walkers get to us!" His tone was almost pleading, since he had no desire to just leave the young child there. "Please, you need to trust me. I'm set up with some friends of mine not too far from here. My bike is just parked a little ways away."
"Lee told me to never talk to strangers…" Clementine said shakily, clearly not trusting the person at all.
'Of all the times to listen to your parents…' the man thought, rubbing his hand over his gruff-looking face. "Come on, Clem! I can't leave without you. The place is safe, I promise. But we have to go now!"
Clementine quickly studied the man and realized she didn't have much choice. Either go with the stranger or become monster food. Her only option was to go, as she definitely didn't want to be a walker's last meal.
"Okay…" she said with uncertainty, running up through the brush to join him on the other side. Together they sprinted across, jumping over tree roots and an occasional decaying body. Even though it was early morning, Clementine couldn't see very well. The summer leaves were thick and dark green, blocking out most of the light. 'I really hope this guy's as good as he said he was,' Clem thought as she ran past more and more death, 'I wonder what Lee would do? He always knew what to do…'
Clementine wiped away some of her tears with her sleeve, still not having completely come to terms with Lee's death. To be fair, it was only a few months ago, and she was only nine years old for crying out loud. Nobody could really blame her, that is, if there was anyone around that would be able to. She learned almost all of her survival tactics from him, but it was still a miracle that she was still up and around. The limited amount of food that she gathered from Christa and Omid's campsite that day, she had rationed so that she'd have just enough not to die of starvation. She had one old, plastic water bottle that she kept with her all the time, and Clementine reused it at a nearby river that ran through a large stretch of the forest. Clementine was always keen on reusing used things, and was actually the class garbage inspector at her school before the world went to – well, you know.
The water bottle was kept with a bunch of other things in her backpack, and she would never think to leave it behind…
"Oh no!" she whispered as she realized the bag was still sitting back on a log near where she slept. Clementine slowed her pace behind the bearded man and turned around worriedly. Instinctively she started back through the forest, completely forgetting about the walkers that were slowly gaining on the pair of them.
Meanwhile, the stranger kept running ahead, thinking that Clementine was following him. "Alright kid, we're almost there. I can see the motorcycle just across the stream. Come on let's…"
He turned around and to his horror the little girl had disappeared. Had she tripped and gotten stuck under a tree somewhere? Or worst of all: had one of the walkers gotten to her? "Shit," he said to himself, "come on, Clementine, where the hell did you go?"
Thankfully, the man's tracking skills were still up to par, and as he traced his steps he noticed some small footprints that lead back to where they were before. He had to smack a couple of mosquitoes from his face as he raced on ahead, swearing to himself that if they ever got out of here alive, he was going to get piss drunk back at the prison…
Clementine huffed and puffed as she swiped away branches with her hands, desperately trying to find her bag. The path seemed different to her as she ran, and an unfamiliar stench had spread its aroma around her. It smelled like… rotten skin? And blood too, she could tell since she'd been smothered in it in order to escape the monsters in Savannah. Clementine was terrified, as not only did she realize she was completely lost with nobody to help, but that there were a whole bunch of walkers looking for a snack.
She decided the best course of action would be trying to hide and holding her ground, since there was no use going deeper any longer. She crouched behind one of the logs and pulled out the pistol, looking for any sign of movement. It seemed like she was in a daze, and time seemed to stand still as another groan screeched out into the air. Left and right she looked, twitching each time the sound came again.
Suddenly, the shadows of three walkers creeping towards her could be seen. There was no time for hesitation, so she quickly aimed upwards towards one of their faces and pulled the trigger, all the while closing her eyes tightly. Clementine still didn't like doing it, even after all these months of death and destruction.
Turning her head to the side and opening one eye slightly, she sighed as she noticed the decaying body, unmoving and spread out on the ground. Maybe she'd be lucky and would get away unnoticed for a change. But suddenly she realized that there were three shadows, not just one. She slowly stood up and looked to see if any more of them were coming up behind the fallen walker.
'Nothing,' she thought to herself, 'where could they have gone?'
Clementine scanned the area again to look for any sign of life (or death she guessed, she wasn't really sure what it was anymore) but once again found it empty except for a squirrel that happened to sneak by. She sighed in relief and sank back down, only to shriek in horror as a walker tried to grab a hold of her arm.
Desperately she swept the monster away with the end of her gun and tried to squirm away, only to trip over the log she was hiding behind and drop the pistol out of reach. There was no escape now, as three more walkers approached the scared nine year old. Shielding her face with her hands, she tried kicking one of the stupid creatures in the face. Unfortunately, the thing grabbed her foot and slowly went to try and bite her.
"LEE!" she screamed out, waiting for the inevitable pain that would come next.
But, it never came. Instead, she put her hands down and saw the walker with a large crossbow bolt stuck in its head, and the same man that she was running with, desperately grappling with the three remaining beasts.
Clementine's eyes widened in surprise as the stranger expertly shoved his knife into the back of a walker's neck, and then shoved that walker forward onto another walker. They tumbled onto the dirty ground, each trying to gain the upper hand on the other. Clementine noticed that the remaining walker was about to clamp onto the back of the man, so she ran over to her pistol located a few feet away from her.
The stranger lodged his knife into the head of the second walker in the dirt, but then heard a loud bang and felt a dead weight land on top of him. He smirked at Clementine as she held the smoking weapon, who felt like she was about to burst in terror.
The two of them just stayed in their positions, unmoving and out of breath, until the man spoke up.
"Nice shot kid," he complimented with a nod, "but do you think you could help me out here? I feel like a walker sandwich."
Clementine noticed what he meant and laughed. The stranger was stuck in between all four of the dead walkers, with him being the meat of the sandwich. She hurried over to him and shoved the top walker off of him.
"I guess he was the bun," she replied with a grin, as the man shook his head in amusement and rolled to his side. "You've got some guts trying to take these on by yourself, I'll give you that. But how about next time we work as a team, alright?"
Clementine nodded and helped him up. The man stretched out his body a little before asking, "What were you doing out here anyway?"
The girl stared at the ground, not looking at him and rubbing her arm sheepishly. "I needed to get my bag; it had all my stuff in it. I tried looking for it, but I got lost and heard the walkers coming, so I tried to hide," she explained, pointing over to the walker she had first shot. "He won't be coming back anymore."
The muscular man seemed impressed. "Maybe we should be calling you Little Ass-Kicker instead," he exclaimed with a chuckle.
"Swear…" Clementine said, looking straight into the man's eyes.
"My bad, I guess," he replied, turning towards a path, "come on, with a little luck, the bike should still be there."
The pair wandered down the dirt road, with Clementine following closely behind this time. She still didn't fully trust this person, but so far he seemed nice. He also cared enough to come back and find her, which was also a bonus. But she couldn't help but be a little weary of the man, as he looked like he might have been a troublemaker. He had a leather jacket on with the sleeves torn off, and the crossbow she had seen slumped over his shoulder. The fact that he came in a motorcycle didn't help much either, as her parents had specifically told her when she was younger that motorbikes were dangerous to ride if you weren't careful.
"What's your name?" she asked, realizing she didn't even know who she was travelling with.
As they reached their destination, the man started to check his engine and such before he answered. "Darrell," he answered, returning to the bike, "Darrell Dixon."
"Okay," Clementine said with hesitation, "Darrell, is your bike dangerous?"
Darrell chuckled as he revved up the engine. "Not that I've seen so far," he commented, patting the seat behind him, "climb on board."
Clementine was extremely nervous, but eventually nodded her head and waited as Darrell lifted her onto the back. She yelped and wrapped her arms around him in a frightened manner as he cranked up the engine again. "Don't you have helmets? Or pillows or something?"
"Nope," he replied, slowly moving the bike forward and back onto the road leading out to the countryside. "Just hold on tight, we'll be at the prison soon."
"Prison?!" she exclaimed, "You're a prisoner? You never said that!"
Darrell just shook his head and sped up along the road. "I'm holed up with a bunch of people there. You'll like it, it's safe and there's other people to chill with."
"Chill? You mean, like, there's a freezer inside?"
"Oh man…" Darrell chuckled as he drove down the road. This was going to take some time.