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Topic Started: Aug 8 2010, 10:27 AM (8,396 Views)
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Null sheen.
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((Kris continued from Flicker))

Kris ran a long way. Further, maybe, than she needed to. Losing Etain hadn't been hard in the depths of the swamp, heck she wasn't even sure if he'd come after her or just watched her go. Kris thought she'd heard him call out to her as she'd taken off, but perhaps that was just her imagination.

Half of the time, Kris hadn't paid the slightest bit of attention to where she was going. She'd passed through woods, that she knew, a hell of a lot of them, had she seen a mansion house, too? That seemed about right. In any case, the distance was immaterial. Physically, she'd escaped Etain and the swamp, even Reika's body. But she couldn't run from the reality, the truth of what she'd done. It clung to her like a noxious leech, teeth sank deep into her. Gnawing, festering. Biting down in a place she couldn't reach, could never reach.

Needless to say, a mad dash halfway across the island had left Kris gasping for breath and now she slowed, putting her hands on her knees and sucking in great gulps of air, her (Reika's) daypack hanging loosely from one shoulder. She was in shape, but not for this kind of thing. Not on foot. Kris couldn't recall travelling so far without being on wheels in years.

That still tore at her. Not as much, something else had taken a slight precedence in Kris' worries over the board, but it hurt. She'd had that skateboard since she was five years old. Five. It'd needed repairs, patching up over time, new deck tape and wheels, but it'd come through in the end. Every damn time. It was like part of her family. More than that, part of her damn body.

Roll forward, confident, calm. Down the halfpipe, at speed. Up, then down, up, then down. Enough speed and... go. Spinning. Flying. Happy. A sick realisation. She messed up. This won't be pretty. Godawful landing, right on the ankle. Sprain. Board's broken. Two wheels clean off. Kris cries. Concerned faces - does it hurt? Not the pain. Poor board.

Kris sniffed slightly, then rubbed her eyes fiercely with the back of her arm before straightening up and actually looking at her surroundings. She was at the bottom of a mid-sized sand dune, beyond which she could only assume was a beach (she could certainly hear the sea). Behind her, the sand slowly gave way back to grass. That didn't go a long way to help her figure out where she was, but then, Kris hadn't even stopped to look at her map yet, so that would have been a hell of a feat in itself.

She was struck with the desire, all of a sudden, to look at the ocean, as if that would somehow help sooth her nerves, put some of her troubles to rest. Kris started up the dune at a steady pace, feeling no need to run any longer. She'd eluded, if not everything she wanted to get away from, everything that it was possible for her to escape. It wasn't long before Kris reached the top of the dune and found herself looking down on the beach proper.

And people.

Kris' right hand was halfway to the pistol at her hip before she forced it to stop and clenched it into a fist. What the fucking hell!? She saw somebody and her first instinct was to go for the freaking gun!? Not to start shooting, but to ward people off, for... protection.

Well she already knew how that ended, with Reika lying on her back, blank eyes staring at nothing and a ragged hole in her chest.

Kris actually looked at the three students standing in a group on the beach. She knew all of them - of course she knew them, she'd attended the same school for all these years. Bridget Connolly, one of the crowd of guys that did Parkour, a hobby which often wasn't too far removed from her skateboarding. They crossed paths now and then, weren't friends, but were more than just faces to one another. Steve Barnes, in her art class, almost as much of a sketcher as Kris was, had that same sort of thinking - Kris drew board designs, Steve drew album covers. Dreaming, looking to the future. Lastly, it was... Kimberly. Kris couldn't remember her surname or a whole lot about her, but hey, there was a name. Like there'd been a name and not a whole lot more to Reika.

Kris remembered at that moment that Reika had a sister, a twin sister. Reiko. She gave a little shudder and felt mildly ill, but shook it off to look back at the group. Kris must have looked weird just standing there and watching them.

The skater opened her mouth to speak and found that no words were forthcoming. A simple 'hi' or an affirmation that she wasn't playing seemed a hateful lie, something for the leech to note and feed off. So she said nothing, just stood there, hand halfway to the SIG-Sauer, staring at the trio.

Because that wasn't creepy or suspicious at all, not in the slightest. Right?
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All three members of the group noticed her, all three reacted quite differently, just like she'd suspected they would. Actually the surprise to Kris was that Kimberly seemed fairly pleased to see her, which pretty much showed about how much she knew. Listening to the greetings, Kris dropped her hand to her side, trying to make it look as casual as she could whilst simultaneously keeping it as far from her pistol as possible. Hovering halfway towards grabbing the gun looked a lot worse than... well, most everything that wasn't having the gun drawn, as it happened.

Bridget asked if she was okay, which although it obviously hadn't been intended as such, was a loaded question. Kris was fine, wasn't she? Nobody had hurt her or hell, even attempted to come after her at all. But ...there was still the obvious counterpoint to that. What could Kris say? Either she could lie through omission and just say that yeah, everything was all fine and dandy, gee but this situation was fucked up wasn't it? Or... I'm perfectly okay but it happens I shot somebody for no reason, so yeah.

Instead of answering the killer (apt...) question immediately, Kris took the easy option and just greeted them. "...Hey guys," dammit. It felt like she hadn't used her voice in about a million years. It sounded more like a croak than actually speaking, at least to her ears.

At first, Kris welcomed Steve's interjection. She thought it would give her a little more time to think over how she could respond to Bridget. Then it turned out to be even more of a trapdoor than the first one.


"I..." she hesitated, changed tack. "It's just what I got issued, alright?" Kris shifted uncomfortably, her shoulder dipping and briefly causing her daypack to swing into clearer view. She noticed Steve's eyes flickering towards it, wondered why, then...

Opened the bag, rummaging. Look at the front. Name. 'G029, Kris Hartmann'. Finding gun. Name. Later, Etain. Running. Bag. Not hers. The pack isn't hers. ...Name.

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Null sheen.
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Voice. Jump. Spin. Squeeze. Bang. Dead.

There wasn't an excuse. There was no goddamn excuse! Kris wasn't some pokerfaced master of deception, she couldn't fabricate a believable story on the fly as to why she had Reika's pack. She'd barely remembered ahead of Bridget noticing it, and Kris was absolutely positive at this point that Steve had spotted the name first. The writing might as well have been daubed in blood, for how damning the evidence was.

The leech was swelling for all to see.

Kris didn't think she ever wanted to be back home more than at the moment Bridget spoke up again. The thinly veiled horror was what did it. That nuance of tone demonstrated that even in such a short while, the island had made Kris into somebody else. This wasn't her. This wasn't what she was supposed to be. Kris was meant to be that obsessive skater girl with big dreams, not somebody people looked at in fear and trepedation, wondering if she was going to try to kill them (next).

She hadn't meant it. Somehow, Kris didn't think that anybody was going to take that for a reason any more than she herself had.

Kris used the interval in which Kimberly scrabbled to come up with an excuse - any excuse for her to have Reika's bag to quietly unravel. For a time, Kris had thought that she'd managed to regain her composure a little, get a handle on herself after the panic that had resulted in somebody's death. Each and every notion of this being the case was over the course of the next few seconds torn to shreds, showing them to be the paper-thin falsehoods that they truly were.

Pistol in the palm, staring. Dangerous, it'll only lead to death. She thinks that distinctly. Then does nothing. Hesitates, decides to hold on. And Kris knows. Kris knows... Too easy to kill. In the end. It is.

The entire time, Kris didn't say another word. No attempts to justify or explain because she didn't even want to. Bothering to try would be more contemptible than the fact she'd killed somebody. Besides, guilt was written into the look in her eyes, the expression on her face; two little things that sent Kimberly's theories down into dust instantly. Steve's agreement with that rang equally hollow, and Kris found she didn't believe that he would buy that. It was clutching at straws and quite obviously at that.

He was moving. He was planning something.

And with that bolt of alarm, Kris found she'd taken a step back and in one motion, pulled out the pistol. She held it low, pointed at the sand, left hand clamped onto right wrist to steady it, but with very clear intent. Kris didn't even remember consciously deciding to draw the gun, but whatever sinister authority had dictating she pulled the trigger before had acted now. It was instinctive. And sickening. It was little more than animal, flight or fight. The words had backed her into a corner and so she was retaliating by baring fangs. For the first time in her life, Kris found herself cursing the swiftness of her own reflexes.

Kris wet her lips. "Stand there, just... stay there, okay?" the last thing Kris wanted was for Steve to make any sudden moves. Her nerves were frayed already and the pistol's weight was such a horrible comfort in her hand.

Murrrrderrrrrerrr. Kind've a funny word. Label too. Slap it right on her forehead, right enough. Perfectly true.
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Rational thinking was out of the window and clinging onto the frame by its fingertips. It wasn't a matter of Kris refusing to slow down and think about all of this, she simply wasn't able to. The feelings of horror at what she was doing were there, but the voice of reason was a faint cry on the fringes of the roaring maelstrom of her mind. Kris' thoughts kept flashing back to Reika, replaying what had happened over and over in her head (Voice. Jump. Spin...), then onto everything going on in front of her. There was no time for calm, to stop and question why she was acting this way. It was happening too fast.

Why couldn't they just stay goddamn still!? Did they think that because she'd spoken to Steve that it was a-okay for THEM to move!?

Without even paying any mind to what she was doing, Kris edged backward, away from the others. She didn't step, merely shuffled, digging little trenches in the sand with her heels. Bridget advanced, she retreated, nothing more to it. Proximity was bad, dangerous. Not for Kris, like the other girl was suggesting with her reassurances, but for them.

Being hurt wasn't Kris' worry.

Kimberly didn't help, in fact she did the opposite of help. She was just... wrong! She wouldn't do anything to hurt them!? But what about Reika? Kris had been the same person with the same gun and... and... how could she know that? How the fucking hell could Kim know that!?

Kris was trembling uncontrollably now, unable to even keep the pistol pointed in the same place consistently. As Kimberly moved forwards, more than Steve, more than Bridget, the wavering barrel of Kris' gun came up from the ground until it was pointed in the direction of the trio. The tremors running through her body meant that not even Kris knew whether it was aimed specifically at one of the three or just in their general direction. Even with her left hand still clutching her wrist to steady it, Kris couldn't keep things still.

And still Kimberly advanced.


Kris didn't mean it.

The intention was a warning shot, something to get the others to just back off. Fire to miss and all that. Except Kris didn't. As her finger tightened on the trigger, everything froze and it was as if she was a statue. Certainly, her body was as still as one. At that very instant before firing, Kris knew that this wasn't going to sail harmlessly past the others, and... the gun went off.

Kimberly! Jolt of recoil, pain to the wrist. A hit! Kimberly's shot! A scream, was it her or Kris? Puff of blood, droplets sailing. Oh god Kimberly!

Horrorstruck, all the colour drained from her face and every last logical thought running for the hills, Kris turned tail and ran. No, fled.

She... she hadn't...

((Kris continued in A Pit Stop of Sorts

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