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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
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...what a strange time to be laughing. What would anyone have to laugh about in the middle of a firefight, unless they were, to quote a certain Percival Cox, coo-coo pants. Or maybe the targets had fled or something. That would make more sense, Ema was pretty sure Hayley hadn't gone off the deep end just yet.

Turns out hitting the proverbial dirt - more like grass and sawdust really, but that's a digression - was a waste of time, because just as soon as the one with the rifle returned fire, a mere single shot, she and her still-standing friend scarpered, leaving the downed boy where he lay. Ema assumed from that that he was either dead, or irredeemably about to be.

So why did that seem comforting to her? She told herself it was because it meant he didn't suffer, or at least not for long. She wasn't sure it was true, though.

"Well, girly. Now I think it's time to see what's left."

But of course, to the victor go the spoils, and all that jazz. Doubtful they'd leave anything dangerous behind for the probably-deranged-in-their-eyes Hayley to grab, but there might be extra food or water if they'd neglected to grab the boy's daypack. Ema took a few moments to straighten herself up, still residually cautious about showing her head above the treestump, and followed behind Hayley and Kyle to see what loot they'd be raking in.

"Ah, fuck,"

Nothing good, then. Just a weird-shaped sword.

"They must've taken everything. Ah, well, you know, none of us have eaten much, we should be fine on supplies for a while. The only thing I really need restocking on is cigarettes..."

Ema shook her head, bringing an open palm to her face, but didn't say anything. Of all the times to be addicted to anything, it had to be here and now.

"This sword's pretty sweet, though. Better than a knife,"

Made sense, Kyle gets first refusal when all he has is a knife, compared to a big-ass scimitar-kinda-thing and a handgun. Though, switching for something that looked a lot lighter and easier to handle did appeal. Still, Ema didn't mention it. She felt like mentioning "What the actual fuck, why did you just start shooting?", but she didn't do that either.

Helpfully enough, Hayley felt like bringing the subject up herself.

Now maybe she was easily lead on, and somewhat aware of the fact, but the more the other girl spoke, the more Ema found herself agreeing, ceasing to argue with the voice of... brutal reason? that had been telling her the same thing the whole time. The flattery and optimistic phrasing certainly helped, too. That small, seemingly-reasonable, voice still argued, though. "It's still murder, you can't just justify that by some warped Nuremburg Defence." "And what other options are there, then? Lay down and die? In winning, the deaths get to be for something, they get to be for me going home!"

And Ema was moderately sure the winners met Danya at the end, even if it ended in failure, taking a run at him was a rather appealing prospect. If only to say she'd tried.

The problem, of course, was responding. In her lost-in-thoughts few seconds, the expressions running across her face had been on autopilot, showing plenty of half-agreement, half-conflict. It was probably clear she was in agreement on some level, and decrying Hayley as an uncaring monster on another. Time to pick a side and articulate the decision.

"I, eh..."

Ema instantly regretted speaking up first, and not waiting to let Kyle say something. Taking his lead would have been a hell of a lot easier to do. Taking his lead would've been cheap and cowardly, too.

"You're... you're right. If we just roll over and die now, everyone that's died so far, it's been for nothing, right? Sure whoever survives longest deserves to go home, but... that whoever should be one of us, someone who's at least given it thought, and regretted it, and... and isn't just some axe-crazy whacko, right?"

So many "right?"s, so much hoping for reassurance. Ema hoped she didn't come off as indecisive, or a liability at worst. She never had been great at speeches, and that had probably been the longest thing she'd said uninterrupted for the last five days.

She just wanted to get home. And if that wasn't possible, she wanted it to be someone that deserved it, in more than just a survival context.
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.

Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
Parallel with: The Heavy Weapons Guy

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Instinct · The Felled Forest: South