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There was a click, then a bang.

Before he had any idea what was happening, a stinging pain tore through his skull. It was like nothing he'd ever felt before, and mercifully, like nothing he'd ever feel again, though he knew, deep down, it was all he would feel for the rest of his cruelly shortened life. His legs began to crumble beneath the weight of his own body as he struggled, in vain, to keep to his feet. As he fell to the ground, he saw, from the corner of his eye, a small fire, burning in the distance. From that fire marched forth a great and terrible figure, pale of skin, a massive blade at its side. Was this the one responsible for his pain? What could this bizarre, shambling beast possibly stand to gain from his suffering?

Whatever it wanted, it would not say.

He stared up at the creature, his vision slowly beginning to blur, when it did something he did not anticipate. Gently, the figure reached out and stroked his face. It was almost as if the thing was attempting to comfort him, somehow, here in his final moments. Was this, perhaps, an angel? Some celestial host come to grant him mercy?

Slowly, he closed his eyes. As his angel of mercy raised the blade and brought it back down, he found his answer.


Nothing personal, buddy. Man's gotta eat.

((R.J. Lowe continued from Keep Yourself Alive))

Now, it was simply a matter of figuring out how best to drag a 25 pound sword and a headless deer the fifty or so yards back to the campfire. He was beginning to think that maybe they should have set it up afterward, here at the kill site, but hindsight was always 20/20, wasn't it? He didn't particularly want to ask Mary-Ann for help with any kind of heavy lifting, but his stomachache hadn't gotten any better all day.

Eh, he'd tough it out. If only for now.

Grabbing the first kill he had cause to be satisfied with by the hind legs, he hefted them over his shoulder, deciding to go back for the khanda in just a minute. He kept his eyes to the ground most of the way back, not wanting to trip on any dead tree limbs or exposed roots. His back was gonna be wicked sore tomorrow. Still, he felt like some kind of badass caveman or something right about now. Me make fire, then me kill deer with thunder stick to bring back to woman. Me goddamn Tarzan, motherfucker. The thought made R.J. chuckle just a bit, something he hadn't done in what felt like forever. It was surprisingly cathartic, all things considered.

Until he looked up, and found that Jane was playing with thunder stick and suddenly realize him completely forget leave safety on.

He tossed the carcass to one side and made a mad dash at Mary-Ann, face contorted with panic as he dived for the gun... before faceplanting right at her feet, having dived slightly too early.
<Mimi>: You are much nicer than I thought you'd be!
<Stark>: Shut up, fatty.
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They're Made Out Of Meat · The Felled Forest: North