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Unquestioned Answers; private between Ilario Fiametta III and SECRET CHARACTER TO BE REVEALED
Topic Started: Aug 16 2010, 10:02 PM (1,776 Views)
ifnotwinter
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half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Ilario Fiametta Junior folded his arms over his chest, looking down with lips pursed tightly, drawn in like he could taste something bitter. The clock ticked softly in the background, measuring out the seconds with gold-plated hands over a quartz and platinum face. A computer sent a faint blue glow into the air from its screen, and the red message light on a phone pulsed softly. The air was heavy, hot, the curtains drawn with only the slightest crack letting in the bright light from outside. Underfoot, the plush carpet seemed to give slightly, cushioning expensive leather shoes.

His voice was calm, his words prepared. He was not a man to offer his opinion lightly, or enter any conversation where he might not turn out the victor. "I'm disappointed, Ilario."

"I'm sorry, Father." Ilario Fiametta the Third bowed his head, respectfully averting his eyes from those of the older man. Although he kept his breathing slow and easy, his heart was fluttering in his chest, head pounding with the crushing realization that he had failed. His stomach churned and he found himself swallowing hard, clenching his hands into fists and feeling the nails bite into his palms.

"I told you to keep your sisters out of trouble." The elder Fiametta didn't sound particularly angry, voice level as though he were simply stating a fact. He stepped backwards, sinking into a red leatherette chair, steepling his fingers under his chin. "They are family, Ilario. Family is important. Obeying me is also important. The first step towards successful leadership is knowing how to follow instruction. It concerns me that you are not able to do this."

"It won't happen again, Father." It felt bizarrely like giving confession, desperate to be absolved and forgiven in the eyes of the most important figure.
Bless me, Father, for I have sinned...

He folded his lips over the inappropriate bubble of laughter rising hysterically inside of him, swallowing it back and maintaining his collected expression. It was true. He had failed. This would be his punishment, and it would come with the bitter taste in the back of his throat that meant he had to be better. He was the third Ilario Fiametta the family had seen - he would give his father and grandfather reason to be proud. He had to. He knew he had to.

"See that it doesn't." The dismissal was clear. His father got up, opening the curtains on his way to the desk. They let in the hot, thin light that reflected off the beach's sands. Ilario remained standing, shifting his feet in the golden grains, feeling them give under his toes.

The elder Fiametta picked up a letter and a letter-opener. It wasn't the one he usually used, of ornate silver embossed with the family crest, but a simple steel one. As he slit open the pristine white of the envelope, it wept blood over his fingers, splattering with soft noises to the desk below. With his gaze on the letter, Ilario Fiametta Junior began to speak again, sounding distracted.

"Your failure to protect your sisters is really most worrying, Ilario. And now that they're both going to die, I find myself faced with a difficult decision. Obviously you stand as heir, but with your lack of ability to follow instructions..."

Ilario could barely hear him over the roaring of the choppers, but he knew what his father was saying. His mask began to crack, emotion welling up inside of him as he tried to take a step forwards. "I can, Father, I - I can protect them, I can stop it. They won't die!"

"Mmm." Was the noise his father's skepticism, or simply the wind in the forest? "And then there's your leadership initiative. I don't know, Ilario. Your work at school has been exemplary, but the breakdown...weakness is in the blood, unfortunately. Your mother, she would have given that to you. I'll need to see...something else." There was blood running from his lips, now. His voice bubbled unpleasantly as he spoke. "I don't want to be disappointed again." Crimson liquid stained his Armani shirt.

Ilario's fingers relaxed around the handle of the letter opener. The blade blossomed from Ilario Junior's chest, a gleaming steel rainbow piercing his peacock-blue tie. "This is a game, son." His smile was too big for his face, sharp teeth splitting his lips. "There is a winner."

Voice glottal, choking. "Are you a winner?"

The letter opener leapt like a salmon, twisting in midair. Ilario's fingers guided it without input from his brain, sending it deep into the collar fastened around his father's neck. His father smiled. Ilario bared his teeth.

"I'm not like you."

Ilario Junior bared his teeth, mirroring his son's expression. And Ilario felt the cold grate of steel on steel on bone as the letter opener in his father's hand plunged into his neck. Blood ran from his mouth, from the wound in his chest. His father's face was smooth, young, identical to his.

Ilario opened his mouth to scream, but there was nothing. There was just the sharp crack of gunshots and the mirror shattering in front of him and the shrapnel blowing out and reeling backwards and screaming and screaming and screaming and
screaming as the dark-haired boy under him writhed, throwing awkward and desperate punches at his chest and face.

The rock Ilario had originally used, numb with fear, mind blank with terror, lay a short distance away. His bag was even farther, and in the confusing fog of adrenaline and panic he realized that he had forgotten to check it for a weapon. He had nothing but his fists, and he knew well enough that they were useless. He had never been a fighter. His one attempt to take down JJ Sturn had taught him that.

The boy managed to hook a leg under Ilario's knee, and with a shout the smaller boy went down on his back, sending up a fine spray of sand. He had just enough time to catch a glimpse of a scruffy black beard and wide, startled brown eyes before the sand settled back into his face, making him yelp and screw up his face in pain. Unable to see, he struck out wildly in the direction of the mass on top of him, one or two lucky punches that were more like slaps landing on clothing.

Wiggling desperately, trying to bring his knees up for a swift hit to the groin, Ilario was overly conscious of the sound of his heart thrumming loudly in his ears. His breathing was too fast, wheezing out with a frantic whine. The slightly larger boy was half-pinning him, shouting something that Ilario couldn't understand as he thrashed ever harder. He had to get out. He had to. He would die here, the boy would kill him, he would fail before he had even begun and the disappointment o god his father would watch him and know he had failed and everyone would know he had failed and he couldn't, he couldn't, he couldn't he couldn't-

The boy on top of him was barely doing anything, but Ilario hadn't noticed. With his eyes squeezed shut and his breath coming in tiny gasps, heart pounding in his ears and sunbursts exploding in the dark space behind his eyelids, he had stopped fighting the other student and was now uncontrollably fighting himself, striking out at the boy with ever more wild and aimless punches.

Gunfire. Mirrors. A letter opener. Steepled fingers curled into a loose fist aiming through squinted eyes narrowed in a frown. Curtains. Blood trickling onto his face from a lucky hit to the nose, someone crying out but not shouting just loud loud like inconceivable truth

"You disappoint me, Ilario."


"Jesus ow, motherfucker!"

Bless me Father

Cracked lips, tasting of copper, and a lingering voice in his mind. Or the air.

for I have sinned.




He does not know which Father he is seeking forgiveness from.




He strikes out.




Again.




It's been too long since my last confession.




marc st. yves


light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire


lydia hausen


if you don't look down you don't have to fall

sebastian conway


everything will be okay in the end


(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)
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ifnotwinter
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half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Gasping and choking, sand everywhere, rough quartz crystals scraping down the back of his neck. His jacket was off but frantic hands tore at his button-down shirt. Green and white pinstripes. Expensive. He heardfelt a button pop off, clawed his hands upwards until he could grasp at the other arms and use the minute amount of leverage to flip them over, rolling on the damp beach. He was breathing too hard and too fast, eyes half squinted shut against the assault of rock-grains but it didn't matter because Ilario could see nothing but starbursts anyway.

In a dim, far-away part of his mind he could hear a precise voice talking to him. You are hyperventilating, Ilario. Your bloodstream is oversaturated with oxygen. There is no physiological reason for this to be happening. Control yourself. But he couldn't, he couldn't, there was blood and scrambling desperate fists and feet and he couldn't help himself as his breath came faster and faster and faster and faster and-

-and then everything went away in a bright explosion of pain from his groin. Ilario crumpled to the ground beside the other boy, instinctively curling into a tight little ball around the deep, throbbing ache coming from his balls. The blow had done one good thing - he was holding his breath, now, letting it out in only the occasional small wheeze, no longer hyperventilating. Small mercies, compared to the pain which refused to dissipate and radiated into his gut instead. It wasn't long before the combination of the perfectly placed knee and the lingering remnants of the gas made him roll himself onto his side, only half-concious of the other boy still standing over him, and vomit onto the sand.

Thin, bitter bile felt like glass in his mouth, making him spit over and over until the taste was all but gone. Rolling back, he began to cautiously relax, still keeping his knees close to his crotch but trying to shift himself away from the pool of foul smelling liquid. He knew he couldn't get up right now. The pain was still enough to make him crouch, and his muscles felt drained of everything. He felt drained of everything. He made it a scant few inches, half crawling, and gave up, head sinking back to the sand.

This was a killing game, wasn't it?

And he had lost. That was obvious enough. He wondered, in the back of his numb and spinning mind, if he would feel the blow. Would it be a gun? A knife? Or perhaps just a rock. The same rock he had used. Yes, and it would open his brain, and stain what was left of the fine shirt and the dress slacks and the tide would come and eventually take his body out and it would be so peaceful.

But the blow wasn't coming. Tension held his shoulders tight and his knuckles pale as he clutched himself, his breath, which had stilled and almost begun to return to normal, coming fast and shallow again. Why wasn't it coming? He was limp and helpless, stupid, pathetic, lying on the sand and yet he was not dead. Would the boy torture him? Did he want to fight? Had he fled - was his collar going to explode? His fingers opened and closed on the air, eyes squeezing shut as once again his breath turned into tight gasps, twisting his body down into the sand as he tried desperately, frantically, to take in a lungful of air.
Edited by ifnotwinter, Aug 29 2010, 11:13 PM.


marc st. yves


light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire


lydia hausen


if you don't look down you don't have to fall

sebastian conway


everything will be okay in the end


(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)
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ifnotwinter
Member Avatar
half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Tiny breaths. How long. How long since one. Had been. This bad. Thoughts coming in staccato bursts. Lungs bursting. Chest bursting. The sky bursting. Multicoloured sparklers. Trying. Trying. Choking on bitter. Sand? Vomit. In his mouth. Sand, bile, blood. Choking. Trying. Gasping breaths. Tiny. Gagging. Choking. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. In through. The nose. In through. The mouth. In/out. Same moment. Panic. Panic. Dying. Can't breathe. Can't breathe. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry...

On the sand, Ilario Fiametta the Third twitched, his eyes open and staring, unseeing at the sky. Caught in a panic attack worse than ever before, compounded by the thin trickles of bile even now trying to make their way down his trachea, his breath abruptly stopped as saliva, blood, and vomit pooled in the back of his throat. Combined with the sharp and uneven rhythm of shallow breaths, the circumstances sent a desperate message to his brain, resulting in a momentary but all too crystal-clear message.

Stop. Breathing.

It had been a crude form of stopping the hyperventilating that came with panic attacks, once upon a time. A pillow over the face, a hand clamped over his mouth and nose, just long enough to interrupt the rhythm and allow his blood to deoxygenate. Something which even he could remember, and utilize in his bedroom, in the bathroom, sitting with his feet tucked up in a stall at school. But this time it wasn't just that, it was the feeling of liquid wanting to trickle down into his lungs, the sudden realization that he didn't want to die, god, not like this.

And his breath stopped.

No hands against his face, no muffling cloth or soft memory-foam pillow, just will. He bit at the inside of his cheek, back arching, legs kicking at the ground, every voice in his head screaming out that he was suffocating. Will keeping him from hauling in another breath. Already thinking too long, going to die, too long, running out of air dying dying choking suffocating can't breathe dying! But holding it because that was what happened, it got almost easy, not having to think anymore but still fighting because now he wanted to draw a breath and he couldn't, something trapping his throat, something clenching his lungs, some massive black specter of failure sitting on his chest and laughing as it squeezed the life from his body.

But black specters of failure didn't have beards.

He only half-registered the other student scrambling over to him, sprays of sand arching up from the ground where his feet and hand scraped. Yelling something, something which distorted before it made its way to Ilario's ears. Sound everywhere. His heart, pounding in his ears loud enough for someone to hear it miles away, blood rushing through stretched capillaries and veins. Stretched to bursting point. They would burst and his heart would burst and he would die because he couldn't take a breath. And he wanted to, now, god he wanted to he wanted to haul in that sweet life-giving oxygen until he couldn't hold another iota but his throat was closed and his hands spasmed on the ground, eyes bulging, wanting air, needing air, and someone's head suddenly coming down with a hand pinching his nose and lips covering his own and a raspingly rough chin rubbing on his own and a breath, pushing in, hot from the other students lungs, pushing its way into his own body.

It was the trigger his system needed. Shutting down on panic and the first beginnings of choking, it released abruptly as the bearded boy's lips covered his. Ilario's back arched as he hauled in a breath, huge, massive, all the oxygen he ever needed sweet and beautiful, gushing into his chest. Even as it did, though, it exploded back out again in a frenzy of coughing, Ilario barely realizing what he was doing as he braced a hand on the student's shoulder, his own heaving as they choked out the disgusting mixture of bodily fluids blocking his windpipe. Dragging in huge gulps of air, he still balanced his shaking body on the other's, quivering with adrenaline, the thought of the fact that this boy had been the one fighting him barely entering his mind.

When he thought he could speak, respiration still fast, but calming, slowing, he looked up. The boy's face was a mess, smeared in crimson, blood, mucus, saliva, and sand all caught in the straggling beard and painted gorily over the cheeks. He had done that, Ilario realized, in a quiet and sealed-off part of himself. He looked as bad as Ilario felt, and the sudden rush of remorse flooding the Fiametta's body was as heady and dizzying as the oxygen of breathing had been.

"I'm sorry." The words tripped out of his mouth, slightly slurred, confused, somehow all the more apologetic for it. "Oh, god, I'm - I'm sorry. I did that, right?" Reaching out with a free hand, manicured nail tips already breaking from the earlier fistfight. "I - I'm really. I'm really sorry. God. God."

Too much, everything. Hesitating just before touching the boy's face. A classmate. Seen once or twice in the halls. But the name was gone, escaping him. Had they gone to class together? Maybe. Hard to tell. "I don't even - thanks. Thank you. Really. Thank you." What else to say? Nothing to say. A killing game didn't let itself to politeness.


marc st. yves


light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire


lydia hausen


if you don't look down you don't have to fall

sebastian conway


everything will be okay in the end


(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)
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ifnotwinter
Member Avatar
half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
The boy shook his hand off, quick movements as he twisted, stood, kicking Ilario's leather messenger bag as he rose. An accident, or on purpose? Ilario wasn't sure and didn't think it mattered. The bag was half open, spilling his toothpaste onto the ground. His toothbrush would be covered in sand now, unusable, and somehow it was that which made him the most upset, even that little bit of control ripped away by this. The bag which wasn't his, the bag with his name on it, that was open as well. His clothing strewn over the ground. A dark crimson shirt which flattered his eyes and his skin and Ilario only knew this because his father had approved, but there it was, crumpled and tangled with a long rope of bull kelp.

The other boy scooped up his own bag, straps across his left shoulder. Guilt left a sour taste in Ilario's mouth, or maybe that was the leftover bile still washing around his tongue. Absently, he cleared his throat and spat, unable to stop the tiny shiver of disgust as he did so. Spitting. He hated it when people spat. In public, especially.

The boy was moving away from him. A gleam of light on the corner of his bag, a few letters, and the name finally slithered into Ilario's head. Jackson. Jackson someone. He'd always thought of Jackson Pollock. Academic. Quiet. Not much of a social life. They'd had classes together, Ilario had borrowed a pen from him once. Something like that. Tended to smell like cigarettes. He thought Rosa might know him.

Rosa.

Shit.

Jackson was in the surf a few meters away. Ilario rolled to his feet, less gracefully than he would have hoped, the throbbing ache from his balls still forcing him to incline slightly. There was sand everywhere. Hid bag had been opened, desperate hands scrabbling for a moment until his fingers closed over the pill bottles and the panic receded. What time was it? He'd have missed doses. Fuck. At least he still had them. He was already fumbling with the safety tops, press and twist, when the first shriek of feedback came rolling over the trees.

His first glance was around, his second to Jackson. The taller boy had his shirt off and was splashing water over himself, shameless in the lapping waves. A flush rising on his cheeks, Ilario forced his eyes away, embarrassed in some awkward way. And then the noise, continuing. It was hard to hear, and as it went on, Ilario found his stomach twisting on emptiness once more, names rolling through the air, crackling into his ears.

Classmates. People he'd known. Dead. And killing. People were honestly killing. It didn't seem possible. He held his breath, waiting for the name he knew would come. The Fiamettas. But then, nothing. The end of the announcement. No Rosa. No Frankie. They were still out there, somewhere, not killing and not dead.

And they were his responsibility, and here he was on a beach, clutching his pills like a pacifier, too wrapped up in his own panic to remember what it was he had to do. His feet slipped in the sand as he walked towards Jackson, expensive loafers picking up debris and struggling to find purchase. The boy's back was to him. That made it easier, somehow.

"Listen. You, uh - you heard that too, right? There's people killing. And - and dying. Shit, there's people killing each other. And I - I've got to. I've got to do something, I need to - you know my sisters? I have to find them. There's - I'm supposed to look after them. Rosa, she - you know what she's like. And Frankie. So I'm - I have to go, but if people - if people are killing, and we know we're not, and all, it might be..."

He trailed off. Wasn't doing much of a job. Public speaking, yeah, that had been part of his upbringing. Had never really taken though. This was supposed to be normal conversation too, he should know how not to be a brain-dead idiot by now. Since he'd be a brain-dead idiot sooner or later, real dead too, but not thinking about that, nope.

"Stick together. You know how it is. Keep an eye out, maybe? I do - I mean, I wasn't going to - I didn't mean to hurt you. If I messed up anything of yours, I'll - I'll pay, when we get back." Instantly knew it was a stupid thing to say. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Hated swearing but here in the privacy of his own head he was going to swear and swear and swear because it just didn't matter now.



marc st. yves


light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire


lydia hausen


if you don't look down you don't have to fall

sebastian conway


everything will be okay in the end


(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)
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ifnotwinter
Member Avatar
half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Most people didn't mouth off to Ilario Fiametta the Third.

Ilario had always assumed it was a status thing. His family so obviously had wealth and power, and he'd never been subtle about it. He wasn't his father, that was for sure, but he liked nice things and he wore suits more often than not, all of his clothing brand-name, expensive without being ostentatious. And the car waiting for him in the parking lot was a top of the line Jaguar which purred like a kitten, and it wasn't exactly a secret that he was never short of pocket money. So while he wasn't exactly what he would call popular (too busy to be popular), no one appeared to outright dislike him. And no one had talked to him like that before. Ever.

And so it was that Ily was left standing, mouth slightly open, eyebrows drawn together in a puzzled frown, as he watched Jackson stalk away over the sand. The words...bothered him, more than he'd like to admit. Here, in the middle of this - this sick game, this survival of the fittest whatever it was supposed to be, Jackson had gone out of his way to save him. After Ilario had tried to brain him with a rock, too sick on fear and panic to understand what was going on. And Ilario had just tried to thank him, and now...this was it? All his words thrown back in his face, a biting reference to his sisters that went deeper than Ilario was prepared to admit

(they come to you when they want something

"I told you to keep your sisters out of trouble."

they love you for what you will do for them)

and a set of footsteps leading away from a pair of crumpled, sandy socks. Ilario felt his fists spasm, clenching hard for one impossible second. Jackson had said 'if you want to play hero'. He didn't understand. Ilario wasn't a hero, he knew that. His kind never were - rich, privileged. If anything he was the villain. He didn't care about his classmates because he knew full well that survival was going to be on everyone's mind. He had been panicked enough to try and send a rock into the side of someone's head, someone he hadn't even remembered the name of. Others would do it. And some would take the chance to indulge their more...animal...instincts.

No. He didn't care about them. He needed to find his sisters, protect them, and find them a way off. His family had money, surely they would be trying to find him. Failing that, bribery could work. He reached up, straightened the shoulders of the ruin of his shirt, trying to draw himself together, bending to neatly scoop his things back into his bags. Only two people mattered right now. He would find them. It was his job.

His hand hesitated. Under his searching fingers were the disgusting pair of socks that Jackson had discarded. He wanted to leave them. Pulled his hand back more than once, but always...

He wasn't a hero.

But Jackson had saved him. Jackson had forgiven him, at least partially. And he'd hurt Jackson, maybe badly. He owed it. Father had always made it clear that one pays ones debts, no matter how distasteful.

He made up his mind.

Standing up, he slung his bags over his shoulder. With the socks in one hand, he set out. One foot after another, tracing the long path in front of him, each of his expensive leather loafers settling noiselessly into the moccasin tracks.

((Ilario Fiametta III continued in Act I: General Anesthetic))


marc st. yves


light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire


lydia hausen


if you don't look down you don't have to fall

sebastian conway


everything will be okay in the end


(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)
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