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Orientation; B106: Start (THREAD CLOSED)
Topic Started: Aug 8 2010, 12:28 PM (4,451 Views)
BetaKnight
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In some cultures, what I do is considered normal.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((B051 Roman Jackson debut))

Roman tried to huddle down farther into the small depression at the base of the tree stump, as if making himself a smaller target would do anything besides preserve the illusion of safety. The detonation of Dallas Reynolds’ collar had driven home the knowledge of exactly how defenseless and helpless he was.

However, there is a world of difference between logically knowing something and feeling it. And the feeling of the wood at his back and earth under him provided a solid sense of security, one that he could not bring himself to abandon just yet. Shifting slightly, he curled around the pack that had been provided, hugging it to his chest.

An unfamiliar girl’s voice broke the silence that had settled since the horrific boom of the exploding collar.

“I suppose we really shouldn’t mess with these collars, if our departed friend is any indication.”

It wasn’t so much the choice of words as it was the callous, gloating tone in her voice that chilled Roman to his bones. She doesn’t even care that Dallas is dead. That he’s gone. She makes him sound like some kind of… object lesson rather than a person. He deserved more than this. He’s someone’s son.

Somewhere, someone is going to be devastated by his death. I don’t know how they’ll be…able to go on…


As that thought crossed his mind, his heart stuttered for a second before starting to race. Oh god. Where is Alex? Where is my sister? Oh god, where is my sister?! The sound of his pounding heart filled his ears as he fought the urge to retch. I have to go. I have to go find Alex. Oh god, please don’t let her be dead. Please, God, please! A wave of choking panic washed over him as he fumbled on the ground, suddenly as uncoordinated as a newborn calf.

Stop! Stop and THINK, his rational mind screamed at him. He stilled his movements as he realized the danger he was putting himself in. You go popping up from behind this tree like some kind of demented jack-in-the-box and what’s to stop those animals from shooting you in a blind panic? Do the smart thing. Call out first then slowly stand up. No sudden movements. Nobody needs any help justifying an itchy trigger finger. Then we will go and find Alex.

Forcing himself to take several deep, calming breaths, Roman slowly lifted his head to peek out over the top of the stump. “H-hello?” he called out, not caring that his voice shook. “Whoever’s out there, I'm unarmed and I'm going to stand up now. Please don’t shoot.”
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BetaKnight
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In some cultures, what I do is considered normal.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
With a grunt, Roman slowly levered himself to his feet, leaving his bag on the ground. Don’t shoot, I'm pathetic, he silently willed the others as he raised his empty hands to further illustrate that he was of no threat to either of them. The two people hovered over the remains of poor Dallas, looking to capitalize off of his ill fortune all ready. The thought of taking anything from the fallen boy made Roman want to gag. He needed to get out of here and go find Alex before she wound up like Dallas.

Still moving cautiously, he adjusted his glasses, trying to bring the features of the others into focus. Eyes widening, he realized that the girl who had spoken was Alice Blake. Not that they had been close in the slightest but Alice was easily recognizable, having the distinction of being one of the absolutely whitest people on campus in addition to being the tallest girl in the senior class. Now he could add “heartless, callous bitch” to the description. The boy looked familiar, but Roman couldn’t place a face with a name. Please don’t let either of them be trigger happy psychos. Please.


“S-sorry. I didn’t want to startle anyone. I'm just looking to pass through,” he explained, eyes nervously flicking back and forth between the pair. He could feel his pulse hammering away in his throat. “Actually, I'm trying to find my sister. Alex Jackson? About my height, but with purple hair. You…you haven’t seen anyone matching that description, have you?”
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BetaKnight
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In some cultures, what I do is considered normal.
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Roman’s eyes widened in panic as Acacia Salinger joined their little impromptu meeting, carelessly waving a gun about. He flinched and barely stopped himself from flinging himself to the ground. Her chagrined expression did little to ease his abused nerves. Uncle Jack would shit a brick if he saw someone treating a gun so casually, he thought as he returned her smile.

Darren got his attention by speaking again, followed by Alice. Roman nodded in understanding as everyone explained that they hadn’t seen Alex. Of course, they had barely gotten mobile so that really was something he should have expected. He continued nodding, acknowledging both Darren and Alice’s offers to keep an eye out for Alex and Darren’s invite to group up later. “I appreciate it,” he said as they began to move away.

Darren seemed really competent and level-headed, and a part of Roman desperately wanted to run and catch up to the other boy. But he couldn’t go and try to hide until he found his sister. Unwilling to let happy gun-waver Acacia be unsupervised for too long, he turned towards her.

“Umm, I don’t mean to be an ass or anything, but waving that gun around will probably get you killed super fast.” Glancing furtively at Alice’s retreating back, he dropped his voice to a whisper. “Some people around here are already into the swing of things and don’t even need an excuse to start attacking.”
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BetaKnight
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Roman’s jaw dropped when Acacia reveled that the gun was unloaded. The sheer audacity required to casually wave an empty gun around was almost mind boggling. It was either the most brilliant or the stupidest thing he had ever seen. His eyes flicked to his bag. No one would panic when they saw his weapon. He wasn’t even sure if he could wield it with enough strength to actually do anything with it. It was definitely something better suited to a person like Alex. There were plenty of times she had menaced him with a wrench or pair of pliers.

"It didn't come loaded. And I'll be honest, I don't even know where to start. What did you get?"

While he wasn’t a marksman or really even terribly comfortable with guns, his uncle and father had shown him how to properly load and handle one on one of the extremely rare and never fruitful hunting trips they occasionally went on. Roman momentarily contemplated feigning ignorance but he could hear Acacia’s panic creep into her voice as she admitted she didn’t really know how to prep the gun. He couldn’t leave the other girl high and dry in good conscience, not when her feeling so closely mirrored his own. ‘Besides, if you want help, you have to give help. I just hope this doesn’t come around to bite me squarely on the ass.’

“I, uh, I got a…hold on, I’ll get it out,” he said as he fumbled for his bag. “It’s called a sun baton. It has an instruction manual, but it doesn’t look terribly complicated. I think it’s just one of those collapsible batons that you see foreign police officers carry in action movies.” He pawed through the bag, looking for the weapon to show Acacia. “Didn’t your gun come with an instruction manual?”

Without waiting for an answer, he rushed on. “If it didn’t, I could…I could show you how to open the breach so you could load the gun. I mean, I think I can open the breach for you.” Roman kept his eyes fixed on the contents of his bag.
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BetaKnight
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“I'm gonna hold you to that,” Roman said with a wry grin. Moving slowly, he took the gun, his fingers brushing against Acacia’s for a second as he made sure he had a good grip on the weapon. Once in his grasp, he brought the gun towards his face for closer inspection. He absently pushed his glasses further up on his nose as he turned the gun over and over.

“It’s gotta be here somewhere,” he muttered as he ran his fingers over the frame of the pistol. There had to be a catch or a latch or something that would let him open up the cylinder so Acacia could load the bullets.

There. A small button on the left hand side near the trigger guard. Pressing it down, Roman used his other hand to push the cylinder free of the gun itself. It slid to the side with a nearly inaudible click.

“Ta-da,” he sang softly, a triumphant grin on his face. This was something he could do. Be calm, focus, and find the solution to the problem. So Acacia’s problem of an unloaded gun was solved. He really should get moving on solving his own problem, namely, finding Alex.

He held the open gun out to Acacia. “Here you go, one gun ready to be loaded. You just drop the bullets in and push the cylinder closed. Anything else I can help you with?”
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BetaKnight
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“That would be really nice, actually. I would appreciate the company.,” Roman said as he gathered up his bag. “The sooner I find Alex, the better I’ll feel.”

He glanced around one more time, his eyes lingering in the direction that Alice and Darren has gone. Taking a deep breath, he slowly exhaled before deciding to go in the opposite direction. Darren said he’d keep an eye out for Alex, so it would be pointless to go in the same direction he’s going. Plus, Alice went that way, and I’d really like to avoid her for as long as possible.

“How do you feel about going that way?” he asked, pointing towards the horizon. “It seems as good as any other direction.” Shouldering his Danya-issued bag, he slowly began walking in that direction.

((Roman Jackson continued Watch Your Step))
Edited by BetaKnight, Sep 22 2010, 11:57 PM.
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