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Chib
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
[Huge surprise! Guess who came to save the day.]

[Hatful of Hollow --> Ema Ryan]

In spite of herself, hunger was perhaps the biggest thing on Ema's mind as she travelled. There was a convoluted thought process behind it all, one she constantly reminded herself of by simply having to remember why each contributing factor aligned in such a way that left her exhausted and hungry, and a little thirsty, too. Primarily, she feared to stop because, being covered in blood and all, anybody coming across her would probably react with as much panic as she had to cause said blood to get there in the first place, and do to her what she'd done to Sapphire and Maf. Now, she could wash that blood off, and do a more adequate job of cleaning off her sword whilst she was at it, but that would involve a major detour to either the north or south to find one of the nearest rivers. The thought was appealing, getting clean and non-terrifying, as well as how they were probably clean enough to fill her dwindling water supply from. But she had a mission, she was searching for Hayley, the last remotely normal thing left in her little world. Hayley Kelly, her first and presumably last love, her companion, her guardian. The reason she was still alive and more-or-less sane. In the event anything had happened to Hayley, Ema had no intention of arriving late to stop it.

But, on the very same point, she didn't want to miss her, by going too far too quickly, or simply not noticing obvious tracks or signs of recent conflict. So progress was slow regardless, with Ema weaving around, mostly randomly, hoping to find some sign of the girl, whilst watching her own back all the while, ensuring she wasn't headed for a similar fate to... must be about 230 of her peers, by now. It took a while for that number to sink in - though luckily, Ema had plenty of walking time to let it - the sheer magnitude of what that meant. When the first one, or two, or even ten had died, they'd all been quite a big deal. A person has died. Two people have died. Lots of people have died. But it had risen now to such an absurd number it was impossible to properly visualise, impossible to figure out how to feel. 230 wasn't a person, it was just a statistic by now. When it ultimately rose to 275, would it look that much bigger? What difference did a few more lives make? What difference do they make, so long as I get to be the one that lives?

It was late when Ema arrived at what immediately stuck out as her destination. Before she arrived, the now-familiar smell of gunpowder on the wind tipped her off, and following that cue, she soon found the trail of blood, thinning the further she went, leading to what she deduced must be its origin, where the wound had been inflicted; after all, whilst dry, it was still quite red and quite not-disturbed-by-wildlife, so the blood must be moderately fresh. And if nobody was at the end of it? She could just follow it the other way, find out where they'd stopped after leaving. Totally foolproof. I'm a genius. Not like they'll be jumpy or paranoid if they're still alive, definitely not. Yeah, get that gun ready love.

The blood ended in a small pool, where the wounded must have been for a few moments, paralysed by shock or knocked to the floor or something, before managing to flee and leave that handy red trail behind. But those thoughts were processed and shelved under "Unimportant" incredibly quickly, because a few metres away lay a small bundle of something that, despite being obviously Hayley, defied identification for several seconds. Because Hayley was immortal, she was the indestructible wall between Ema and certain death, she couldn't be laying beaten and bloodied on the ground, unconscious or deNo she's unconscious she isn't dead she can't be dead no no no no no don't be dead please don't be dead.

"Hayley!"

No response.

She was quick to drop her sword where she stood and rush to Hayley's side, careful, yet urgent, in rolling her over onto her side. The recovery position? Ema was pretty sure that was what it was, the position you're meant to put an unconscious casualty into as soon as possible, for first aid and all the good, non-deathy stuff. With her gun still in a vice-grip in her left hand, Ema felt for a pulse on the girl's neck, growing frantic as she didn't find it as instantly as she'd like. In a matter of seconds, which passed as though they were years, she confirmed that Hayley's heart was still beating, discomfortingly softly. Awake or not, it seemed all too weak. But she was alive, barely or not, that was the important part.

So, setting her daypack aside, Ema found an already-ruined shirt and tore off one of the few remaining clean sections, using it along with some water to clean the blood off of Hayley's face. She considered rinsing the blood from her mouth, too, but decided against it, afraid of choking her. Instead, she opted to wipe away as much of the dried blood on her on face as she could, which soon showed itself to be an effort in futility.

There was nothing left to do, really, except wait and hope for Hayley to wake up, and stick around until she either did, or... God forbid, the other option. So Ema sated her thirst with a swig of water, made short work of some of the remaining bread, and regretted not pilfering extra supplies from Maf's bag when she'd had the chance. She switched her handgun to her right hand, and, like many times before, she waited.
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

The Past
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Confiscate the Crown · The Woods: Inland