How messed up is that, to take characters out of safety and real relationships? But, the characters need to travel new paths (wok wok) to grow. Besides, in the perpetually-surveillanced society they live in, Alan couldn't stay with his new mom forever. Ashley, however, will have to graduate to join the military or take on some important post where she will be pitted against the rebels, after she has been out in Junk Town for her short mission. I am debating when the two should reunite again, though. They shouldn't be apart for the whole first book.
Also, I do want to raise the tension with Jackie, as eventually she will catch on that Ashley is not into her, and Lister will play a dangerous role out of jealousy because all the candidates will think Ashley is getting special privileges, but Ashley is not.
Of course, maps are just maps. The characters may choose to take a different route. They take a life of their own sometimes, despite our well-crafted plans.
That's all I've got because I am still recovering from this nasty bug. It's good books, sleep, and international zombie movies. And food. This cold is making me really hungry. :(
Craft a map, but don't get caught up in the route your characters take. #Resist