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Solomir
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Nanotech Engineer
[ *  *  *  * ]
BOOM.

Everything was red. Peter couldn't see much past the haze of blood that had splattered onto his glasses, but he could still feel the reverberation of the shotgun firing. Not that there was much to worry about: Imraan wouldn't try to shoot through Jessie. He didn't have what it-

It got a little brighter. Barely noticeable, but the lighting definitely changed. Over the top of his glasses, blurry but not obscured by red, Peter could see something drop out of his line of vision. Jessie's body. Peter cursed to himself, then pulled off his glasses with his free hand. The world faded into a a mess of colored shapes, but at least he could see.

BOOM.

Fire burned up his arm as something ripped past it. Peter jerked, almost dropping his glasses to the ground. He dropped to a crouch. The wound was just a scrape, like the other one on his arm. It just hurt a fuck ton. Peter'd gotten lucky once, but that luck was going to dry up if he didn't get his ass moving. He just needed a way to get close to Imraan without getting shot.

There was a voice. Barely audible over the ringing in Peter's ears and Imraan's yelling. Jessie. Three words which made Peter want to laugh. Of all the things to spend her last few moments saying, she had to take the high ground. Still trying to keep herself in the right. He rolled his eyes and opened his mouth to snap something back at her.

Of course, there were more important things to take into account. Like Imraan with his shotgun. The clack of the shotgun chambering its next shot rang in the air, counting down to the next deafening roar. Peter’d gotten lucky once, but he needed to move or he’d be adding his own body to the carnage that had already happened in here.

He counted one second in his head. One second to figure out which way to go. One second for Imraan to aim the gun at his head. One second before everything went to hell again.

Peter dove to the right. Imraan fired. Again, the shot reverberated in the air, but Peter didn’t notice anymore. He hit something as he moved, sending it rolling along the same path he took: his backpack. Hands and knees and sword hit the ground, but at least he had a bit of cover.

One second to catch his breath. Another second punctuated by the shotgun chambering its next round. One more second of brief reprieve before a chunk of wooden pew beside Peter got blown to splinters. Just a friendly reminder for him to keep moving.

He picked up his backpack in his sword arm, picked a direction and scrambled. There should’ve been a side door, if he remembered correctly. Hopefully all the shooting and moving around hadn’t messed up his directions, because there was no time to clean his glasses and find a better way out.

Another shot blew through the pew as Peter ran. Sharp pain bit into his leg, but it wasn’t enough to stop him from moving. It was only a few meters, maybe three big steps and then he met what appeared to be solid wood. He pushed his shoulder against it, but it wouldn’t budge.

Warm liquid trickled down his left leg. Peter would worry about that later. Top priority was getting into a safer place to figure out another move. Also at top priority was not getting shot again. The main obstacle at the moment appeared to be that the door wasn’t opening.

Maybe he should’ve been paying more attention earlier. Maybe he shouldn’t have been so impulsive and actually thought things through. Or at least just opened his eyes, since apparently, the door right next to the piece of wall he was pushing against. Peter pivoted around, and flung his body against the door. It gave way easily under the weight and Peter sailed through the frame, landing on mossy dirt.

Pain ran through his whole body from the impact, and Peter wished he didn’t need to keep moving. Still, he picked himself up and warily approached the open doorway. The last shot, Peter hadn’t even heard it, had gouged a big hole in the corner of the door. There were no more gunshots, but that didn’t mean the danger had passed. He edged up against the frame and peeked on the tableau.

Imraan was crouched over Jessie’s body. That was some sick irony. A few days ago, Peter had been in much the same position. He could imagine what was being shared between them now: declarations of love, apologies for the past, and just plain comforting in the face of death. Peter had no right to interrupt that. Jessie may have been misguided and deserved what she had been dealt, but she deserved at least some little bit of peace before she passed on.

He was still holding onto his glasses. The blood on it had started to dry, but Peter was still able to wipe most of it off on his shirt, staining it with more red. The frame had been bent from his iron grip and the impact with the ground, but it wasn’t too difficult to twist it back into a shape that would fit around his head.

After fixing up his glasses, Peter stole another glance into the church. By his estimate, Jessie was close to the end of her rope. It was a bit sad. She didn’t understand the full ramifications of her choice to support Liz. She probably didn’t get that Danya wasn’t fooling when it came to blowing those collars in retaliation. Peter also knew that Jessie wasn’t a girl that would back down once she made her choice. So he had to do what he had done.

Did Imraan understand? Peter would’ve thought that he did. Now, it didn’t seem so clear cut. Seeing Imraan huddled over Jessie’s body made Peter reconsider. If he did anything rash, like maybe walking back inside, there was a good chance that he would just get pumped full of shotgun pellets. If he could just nudge Imraan along to see it his way….

“Liz Polanski is a danger to all of us,” Peter said loudly, turning away from the doorway. “You think Danya’s joking about blowing us up if she pulls more shit?” Peter shuffled a few steps from the doorway. Best not to open himself up to getting shot through the walls.

“Next time, it could be you. Or her. Maybe Rachel or Bobby. Or anyone else on this island. There’re people still alive here that I want to protect. You probably are the same.” Peter took a deep breath and stepped back closer to the doorway. He still needed to find Will. Hopefully, Eiko didn’t try anything funny and had just gone straight to the mansion like he’d suggested. “There are others on the island that haven’t killed anyone. That haven’t been tainted by this game. Innocent people. I’m just doing what I can to protect them.

“Just listen for a second,” Peter continued, trying not to give an opening for Imraan to rise up and start shooting again. “Jessie wouldn’t have backed down. She was so set on finding Liz and helping her stir up shit. I don’t think it would be worth it. Too many people dying meaninglessly.”

Sacrifice one to save many. It was always a fine line to toe. How did one evaluate which course of action was the best? Did it even matter now? What’s done was done.

“Would you have let Jessie kill all of those people?”

Peter was content leaving it at that. Imraan would need time to digest, to come to his own conclusions. There was no way of knowing where Imraan would fall, but that was all out of Peter’s hands now. If things went south and Imraan didn’t agree with Peter, then he’d better hope that there was half an island of distance between them first. And if Imraan agreed, then maybe they’d meet again. Hopefully to get rid of that pest Polanski.

Peter walked over to his gear strewn across the grass and started packing things up. He still kept an eye out on the doors, in case Imraan decided to come out with a shotgun greeting. It was only a few things to put back into the pack. Luckily, it appeared the backpack was padded enough that none of the bottles had broken from being thrown around. Peter had come out of the church with another mark on his record and some fresh booze. Not the best of tradeoffs, but it was better than nothing.

A few minutes later, Peter had shouldered his backpack, wincing slightly as he let the weight fall on his left arm. He’d need to look at that soon, as well as change his clothes. He just needed to get somewhere safe first. Funny how the one place Peter would’ve thought to be perfectly safe ended up being anything but.

His flask was still in there. It had been a nice flask.

((Peter Siu continued in Peripeteia))
V5


B036: Benjamin Ward: "Sh-shut the fuck up. Or I'll k-kick your ass."
B047: Marcus Leung: "Let's start by staying calm."


V4

Rest in peace

B004 - Peter Siu: "We're all fuck-ups."
G006 - Tiffany Baker: "Will you stay with me, until I wake up?"
G027 - Marybeth Witherspoon: "The cameras are pointing here, not there."
B115 - Tony Russo: "I'm sorry...."
G087 - Rachel Gettys: "I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell."
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