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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
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The odd choice of context, in spite of its being completely abandoned straight after establishing it as a 'scale' seemed to help. It elicited a grin, at least, and whilst it did look forced, Ema put that down to large amounts of face-based pain. Yeah, note to self, don't make her laugh, that can't be healthy with all this blood and bruising and whatnot. Second note to self, be more careful around the nose, looks like it's broken and certainly felt like it. Oh and third note to self on the subject of the second, obtain more dexterity.

For a moment, Ema wondered where exactly she was meant to gain additional dexterity from, but that was a stupid train of thought and ended only in tired RPG analogies, so she ended it and paid attention to what Hayley was saying.

"I found myself tied up on the tracks right before the Bitchmobile came rolling through. Hit me hard. But I...uh...shot it?"

That... didn't really make any sense. Bitch version of the Batmobile on train tracks? Bullets worked on it? What?

"...I don't know who she was. The girl. Seemed like she had some vendetta against me or whatever. But I doubt she made it far with a couple of bullets in her. ...There was some other girl, I didn't see what happened to her before I blacked out. Ran out of bullets. Just a bad break, I guess. Now..."

Yeah that made a hell of a lot more sense. A girl come along and beat the snot out of her, then she shot her and wait who do these pronouns belong to again?. Anyway Hayley shot the other unidentified girl who proceeded to run off and probably died a few meters away. That'd explain the trail of blood Ema had followed to get here, then. And then there was another girl who Hayley tried to shoot but didn't have any bullets left, and evidently she absconded as well. Probably went after the gunshot victim. Yeah, that sounded pretty reasonable.

There were a few holes, of course, like why Hayley hadn't shot mystery girl #1 straight off the bat, rather than waiting around to become Mr. Sandbag first, or why mystery girl #2 hadn't taken the time to finish the evidently unconscious Hayley off... but those could wait, the actual present was happening. Fact was, Hayley was alive, Ema was there, moving on needed to be happening. And the former was reaching out to be lifted.

"First, I need you to help me up. Then we're gonna get our stuff, and you're going to tell me what happened to you."

Ema obliged, surprised to find that either Hayley was a lot lighter than she thought, or she was a lot stronger. Or both. But there'd be time to figure out which later on, it was more important to offer a shoulder for balance, try to figure out which way was "back", and then maybe explain how she'd come to be so red. So, establishing a slow, steady pace back towards the west, Ema recounted the events of an hour or two ago as best as she could remember them.

"I guess it was more that I happened to someone else. No wait, that sounds dumb. Anyway. I was like, pacing around, keeping an eye on our stuff, waiting for you to get back, and, uh, I kind of lost track of where I was, and ran into this guy while I was looking at the map. And he was like, all creepily silent and stuff, even after I literally walked straight into him, and then he starts getting up like a fucking zombie or a Necron or something, so..."

That sentence went on for longer than intended, Ema paused for breath.

"Yeah, I shot him. And I guess I wasn't sure he was dead and I thought I saw his hand move, so I went for his arm with the sword and... oh, bollocks."

Ema looked back, she'd left it on the ground where she'd dropped it a few minutes ago. Leaving Hayley to rest against a tree, she went back to retrieve it, disregarded the blood still matting it, and shoved it in her daypack. Back to the journey.

"Yeah, after that I think I must've blacked out or something. Next thing I knew he was just lying there and, and... it wasn't pretty, you know?. Still kind of creeps me out, but it's just another thing not to think about, right? Plenty of time for, like, therapy and stuff when I get back home, right?"

That last "Right?" sounded more than a little bit desperate, even to Ema herself. She'd managed to maintain a largely disaffected tone with the majority of her story, trying not to let slip just how much her own butchering actions had scared her, trying not to let herself feel guilty about shooting the boy in the first place when she had absolutely no cause to think he was going to attack her, short of being bigger and tougher than her. Just pretend the panic was justified and that he wasn't as badly cut up as he looked and go on with a fake normal existence. Totally.

"So, uh... maybe it was one of those people from the cliffs? There were others with the girl you killed there, right?"

Yup, change the subject, like a fucking pro. Thinking about how screwed up I obviously am? No sir. Talking about it? No sir. Things are A-OK and absolutely normal over here.
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