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Hideaway; A copse of cypress trees, thorny and inaccessible on three sides, open on the fourth...
Topic Started: Sep 2 2010, 02:21 PM (3,197 Views)
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[ *  *  * ]
(Liz Polanski continued from Resolve)

The copse of cypress was perfect.

Liz examined it. Gingerly. Three sides of the copse were completely inapproachable--thorns had overgrown the area, and mud pulled at her shoes. The fourth side was open ground, spread over with sharp, small stones that looked like the had erupted from the earth. Liz picked one up and threw it, experimentally. It flew far.

Good.

The largest of the cypress trees was low-hung with branches, climable, blocking light into the shady underside. She took hold of one experimentally, pulled herself up, and sat down. The foliage blocked her view. She pulled herself up further, climbing uneven-ladder style, until she reached the thinner upper branches: thick enough still to support her weight, but only shallowly screened by foliage. Enough to give her view of the surrounding area; hopefully the dark blood on her face would keep her from being spotted by people below.

Not that people would come to this part of the swamp, she hoped.

She needed retrenchment. And protection. She took a weapons inventory again. One search and rescue knife. Two makeshift cosh. One can of Raid, packed when she found out the camping trip required bug spray and found herself without the slightest inclination to go shopping or not smell chemical. Now she would get cancer in ten years, if she didn't die first.

Chris Davidson's head was leaking giblets. She took it out of her bag, and used the knife to hollow out the neck. A bloody, viscous tangle dropped out (Liz breathed through her mouth) along with some stuff that looked to be the end of the esophagus and a mangled voice box. She spread it (nudging with her foot) in a spectacularly bloody fashion over the open ground. Liz had taken most of the neck along with the head, so the next point of effort was to remove the neck skin, and throw it away from herself, past the bloody ground, to serve as a generally veiny warning sign. Vertebrae were harder to separate--she had to dig with the knife--but she got what remained of his spinal column apart and set the pieces artfully apart from the bloody mess. She wanted this to look like a deliberate kill, not an accidental collar explosion. She dug the knife up into his head and was surprised (later she wondered why) to find his tongue. Getting it out proved harder than expected--it was all fucking muscle, she realized about five minutes in--and she ended up stabbing the damn thing in frustration until most of the bottom of his mouth came out.

It got put near the spinal column.

Last was the head proper. Liz had planned to stake it, make a truly morbid statement, but she couldn't find any really accessible dead branches. And she was exhausted and paranoid and the open ground was unsafe. So she left the head lolling on its side and began pulling herself up the tree again, settling at a point where three branches were on relatively the same plane. She lay down, closed her eyes, lit a cigarette by rote, and puffed it, trying not to let the ash fall on her face. She was tired. Tired tired tired. And her hands were bloody, and she smelled terrible, and she hoped she looked enough like a psycho to scare people off.

Her neck ached. She rubbed it.

She needed to defend her tree.

With her, she had her own black hoodie, Chris's long-sleeve button-down shirt, and the beige rucksack that Nick had torn. She pitched all three into the nearby mud, and climbed down after them. Spread mud over the rucksack and shirt, cursed herself for not realizing that the hoodie was already dark and therefore not in need of swamp camouflage, and tried to wash it off in filthy swampwater; this met with limited success. The open ground was dotted with stones; she used her knife to dig them from the ground and separated them into two large piles. Shoveled one pile into her beige rucksack, the other into her black hoodie. Took her black hoodie up the tree, and tied it, hammock-style, to two branches. Spilled a lot of rocks. Recollected them, put them back in black hoodie, made sure hoodie was balanced. Now she had a sack of rocks ready to fall on someone at the drop of a knot. She duplicated this process, albeit without the rock spill, with the beige rucksack.

And now she was exhausted again, and Chris's shirt still needed filling, but there weren't really enough nearby correctly-sized rocks. And the more she thought about it, the more she was upset about her hoodie; it was soaking now, and still more or less muddy, and she really hoped it dried correctly because it was the only hoodie she owned and it wasn't like she was getting another one anytime soon.

A swampy breeze had started to blow. Liz was grateful. Chris's body parts were starting to smell, and this blew the scent away from her. She could breathe through her nose, although now the wind carried an odd industrial smell. Curious, Liz sniffed the air, and followed her nose around behind the copse, where the breeze was originating.

The water was rainbow.

Wherever the sun hit was dazzling, reflective swirls and swampy arabesques. Liz had no idea a force of nature (or whatever this was) could be this spectacular. The water was a maze of translucent rainbows, witchly and rich in the sun.

Liz crouched, and dipped her hand in the water. Whatever it was had formed a skin, and broke up when she let it siphon through her hands. Even touching her, it was rainbow.

She sniffed her fingers. Up close, the industrial smell gave way to the overpowering scent of dead ferns, but the odd tang and the greasy sheen were enough to give it away.

Witch oil.

Liz spun her finger in a thicker pool just to be sure. The texture was unmistakable. She wringed Chris's shirt in her hands, and finally dipped it partway into the pool. It came out stained.

There was a lot of dead matter in the swamp.

She got up slowly--exhaustion was leeching at her legs--and began collecting debris. Dead thorn branches, fallen leaves, uprooted swamp plants, bird feathers and the dry remains of a hornet's nest. She topped the thing off with a largeish rock, tied Chris's shirt (flaking mud) around it, and carefully rolled the entire thing in a pool of oil.

Then she tied it into a ball, climbed back up the tree, and hung the thing right below her. There's probably some kind of stone-age weapon name for this...

She lay on the plane of branches again, feeling much more secure. Decided to ration cigarettes, and be careful with Zippo lighter usage. In the bottom of her backpack was a beat-up spiral notebook and a pair of felt-tip markers.

Mr. Kwong had given her several math problems before they had left. She wrote one down now.

Prove that the square root of 2 is an irrational number.

Cap in her mouth, marker in her hand, safe in her tree, she began to solve.


--------


Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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Sean
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[ *  * ]
((Milo Taylor continued from Where Is My Mind?. I was told that you needed someone obnoxious in the thread, so here you go.))

"Oh god... fuck me Jesus I need to take a break," Milo muttered to himself. He had been running, retracing his steps for several hours straight, and his lungs felt like a million knives were tearing them from the inside. Fortunately, he had come to a copse of cypress trees, mostly inaccessible except for one open side. He dropped his daypack on a group of rocks, slumped against one of the trees, and almost immediately fell asleep without noticing the girl who was occupying a nearby treetop, or the severed head she had dropped on the ground.




Milo awoke in a plane that was almost entirely white. For some reason, he was in the fetal position.

"Yo. Get up, you stupid fuckwit," a mysterious voice said. Milo scrambled to his feet, looked at the source of the voice, and saw nothing.

"Right behind you, shit-for-brains." Milo looked behind him and shrieked like a young girl at what he saw. The creature talking to him was quite literally himself, but red and naked. The creature had a featureless crotch (Milo silently thanked himself for that) and an extremely long nose. "Look, I'm gonna get straight to the point. I'm your id," the creature explained.

"My what?" Milo was perplexed. He had heard the term in AP Psychology, but after he had passed that AP test with a score of three at the end of his junior year, the information seemed to clear itself from his memory.

"Your id. The manifestation of your unconscious desires. Every time you've wanted to fuck a girl, every time you've wanted to procrastinate on studying, every time you've praised your own existence and hailed yourself as a god, I was behind the wheel," Milo-id explained, exasperated at Milo's stupidity but otherwise extremely proud of his "host."

"Ah. That explains a lot. So... what about the rest of my mind? There's three parts, right?" Milo asked. With that question, a horse poofed into existence.

"I'm your superego," the horse said, "which makes you the ego."

"Holy fuck, a talking horse!" Milo nearly fainted right there.

"Yes, and I'm not really pleased with you. You're kind of an asshole. I represent the morality principle, which you appear to have completely ditched in favor of sucking that guy's fat hairy cock," Milo-superego said to Milo, gesturing towards Milo-id. The mental image of this made Milo shudder with abject horror, and Milo decided that he did not really like his morality principle.

"You know, you're kind of an asshole considering you're my morality principle," Milo mused. The horse glowered at Milo.

"Are you really that shocked? He doesn't like it when you do things I'm proud of." The red imp glared at the horse. "And seriously, that mental image is horrifying. Please never say anything like that again. Seriously, I don't even have a cock!" the creature yelled.

"Fuck, I can't believe my mind is bickering with itself. I'm fucked up," Milo muttered to himself.

"Realization is the first step to fixing a problem," the horse said to Milo.

"Why a horse, anyways? While I'm being introspective, I might as well ask what the hell is up with that."

"Horses are cool."

"Good answer, I suppose. You're starting to get on my nerves, anyhow. Begone." Milo snapped his fingers at Milo-superego, causing... absolutely nothing to happen. "God damn it, I thought that would work," Milo muttered dejectedly.

"Do you want him gone? I'm gonna warn you right here, if you get rid of him you're probably gonna turn into a bigger asshole than before. Which is really saying something," Milo-id warned. In a sense, he was lying by omission; Milo was almost entirely controlled by his id to begin with, so getting rid of the superego wouldn't really do a whole lot.

"Yeah, he's annoying as hell, how do I get rid of this douche?"

"Punch the horse."

"What?" Milo hesitated.

"I said, punch the horse."

"Wait, what the fuck? That's retarded."

"Suits you pretty well. Now punch the goddamn horse!"

"What the fu-"

Milo walked up to Milo-superego and interrupted his objection by swinging his fist upwards at its throat. The horse's head jerked upwards with a sickening crack as its upper spine snapped, then lolled to the side as the equine animal fell over. Milo, dissatisfied by the fact that his superego had not simply disappeared, got down on his knees and began repeatedly hitting it in the head. Milo-id's expression turned from mild amusement to utter glee.

"Perfect! Keep beating that dead horse!" Milo-id exclaimed, causing Milo to pause and glare at him.

"Wait, was this seriously all for the sake of a horrible pun? Seriously?" Milo asked, somewhat annoyed that this had happened.

"Yes, actually. I'm a dick like that," Milo-id explained.

"Did it do anything, though?"

"Do you hear that asshole admonishing you for being too sinful anymore?"

"No."

"Well, that should answer your question. Now, before I go, I leave you with this to ponder: let your anger be as a monkey in a pinata, hiding with the candy, hoping the kids don't break through with the stick." And with that, Milo's id faded away and Milo woke up.
Edited by Sean, Sep 13 2010, 06:09 PM.
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Quoth Super Llama:
 
One day, the fabled Ragnarok will come, and as the gods descend to earth and wage war while the world dies around them, WickedIcon will lead the charge, a 12-gauge shotgun in his right hand, and a bottle of Jack Daniels in his left as he rides a steed made of fire and pain.

And the masses will look upon him and weep at the beauty of it all.


Quote:
 
[19:25] Hallucinogenic: it's not like i wanna put my anus on parade


Quote:
 
04:26MimiOH
04:26MimiTHAT'S LESS BAD
04:27MimiI THOUGHT SHE HAD TO JERK OFF MONKEYS
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[ *  *  * ]
Some idiot had fallen asleep under her tree.

Liz cursed herself for not noticing his approach. He hadn't noticed the blood and guts spewed around the copse. Must be fucking exhausted. She put a rock in each palm. No use throwing them at a sleeping boy; she was going to have to wait until he was awake.

He slept on. Liz bit the edge of her tongue to keep herself from relaxing back into the tree. She needed to be alert.

The wind blew off the swamp, carrying oily smells again. The thorns scratched themselves, and the boy stirred. Liz gripped the stones tighter in her palms, and watched his eyes flicker into daylight.

She was taking inventory of herself this time. Ninety pounds of bloody filthy incredibly tense faux-psychopath, covered in black lipstick and human remains. Hanging from a tree, she probably looked like an evil monkey.

Liz thought of the Morlocks in The Time Machine and forced a tiny grin. Think unhinged.

"I'll give you ten seconds to get your shitty little body up and moving. After that, I'm murdering you."

Please, stupid sleeping boy, do not call my bluff.
--------


Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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Sean
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[ *  * ]
As Milo regained consciousness, he heard someone talking to him.

"I'll give you ten seconds to get your shitty little body up and moving. After that, I'm murdering you," the voice said.

What in the hell have I gotten myself into? he thought groggily. He rubbed his eyes.

There, right in front of him, was a girl. A goth girl who would ordinarily be rather hot, but was also covered in blood and human remains.

The blood and human remains were not unique to her, as a point of fact; the area around the two was covered in gore. Milo screamed like a little girl, as he was wont to do often.

"What the fuck is... what the fuck... what the fucking shit holy fuck what is going on!" he yelled, barely managing to stay coherent in his sheer terror. Apparently wandering around while tired beyond human comprehension was not a very good idea. However, he wasn't going to run. He had a better idea.

He found his daypack, opened it, and fumbled around in it for his net gun, exclaiming "Ah ha!" when he finally found it. He fumbled with the netgun, which was similar to a flashlight in appearance, a bit and pointed it at the girl.

"Who are you and what the hell happened here?" he asked, horror and grogginess clouding what little good judgment he had in the first place.
Edited by Sean, Sep 6 2010, 05:45 PM.
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Quoth Super Llama:
 
One day, the fabled Ragnarok will come, and as the gods descend to earth and wage war while the world dies around them, WickedIcon will lead the charge, a 12-gauge shotgun in his right hand, and a bottle of Jack Daniels in his left as he rides a steed made of fire and pain.

And the masses will look upon him and weep at the beauty of it all.


Quote:
 
[19:25] Hallucinogenic: it's not like i wanna put my anus on parade


Quote:
 
04:26MimiOH
04:26MimiTHAT'S LESS BAD
04:27MimiI THOUGHT SHE HAD TO JERK OFF MONKEYS
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[ *  *  * ]
"I killed him." Liz knew that lie would come back to haunt her, but right now, she didn't care. Playing a role let her speak smoother. "And I'm tired. So I might not kill you. But you needn't wait so close to my tree." Her voice was coming out clipped. She was nervous.

He was threatening her with--a flashlight? No, a net gun. The business end was unmistakable. An insane security contractor who lived in her neighborhood used one all the time--for demonstrations, he claimed. He had offered her money to be a target once. She had refused.

She hated the things, but she hadn't the foggiest why he was using one here. She was up in a cypress tree. "You do realize gravity's against you if you try to use that thing on me now, right?"

She gripped the flat rock in her hand, tight. If this guy kept up his stupid shit, she would throw it and hopefully knock him unconscious and--

--and kill him?

It was the correct thing to do, if she wanted to add more blood and guts to Chris's sorry giblets, and cement her reputation as a psychopath. Still, it wasn't a line she was eager to cross, especially because this kid didn't seem like the brightest bulb on the tree.

The kid looked frightened, and fumbled. Liz sat at ease. If he went away, this would no longer be a problem.

She kept her psychopath smile on.
--------


Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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Sean
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Internet de geso~
[ *  * ]
"I killed him. And I'm tired. So I might not kill you. But you needn't wait so close to my tree," she said. Milo was an utter idiot, but even he could tell she was nervous.

In addition, Milo found it extremely unlikely that a rather thin girl with no visible weaponry could do that to a human being in general. It appeared to be more along the lines of a bear mauling someone, or a werewolf attack from a movie. The girl spoke again.

"You do realize gravity's against you if you try to use that thing on me now, right?" she asked, most likely referring to his net gun. Milo was puzzled at her train of thought, and made his decision.

He pulled the trigger on the net gun, the nylon mesh flew out above him, and...

Oh crap, he thought as the net promptly fell back down on him. That was a horrible idea. Milo looked at the girl, who was faintly smiling. She's actually pretty hot, now that I think about it. What I'd give to have a girl like that ravishing me right now... god damn it stop that me, I have bigger things to worry about right now. Like getting out of this net.

"Yo, would you mind cutting me free? My finger slipped," Milo said to the girl. "By the way, you didn't answer my first question. Who are you?"
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Quoth Super Llama:
 
One day, the fabled Ragnarok will come, and as the gods descend to earth and wage war while the world dies around them, WickedIcon will lead the charge, a 12-gauge shotgun in his right hand, and a bottle of Jack Daniels in his left as he rides a steed made of fire and pain.

And the masses will look upon him and weep at the beauty of it all.


Quote:
 
[19:25] Hallucinogenic: it's not like i wanna put my anus on parade


Quote:
 
04:26MimiOH
04:26MimiTHAT'S LESS BAD
04:27MimiI THOUGHT SHE HAD TO JERK OFF MONKEYS
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
storyspoiler
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[ *  *  * ]
Liz looked down from the tree, and gaped. The word she was thinking now was WUT, spelled the way the internet spelled it. That kid had just fired a net gun at her when she was up in a tree. He had also clearly done it deliberately, despite claims of an accident. And now he was stuck, flailing in the swamp, and had just asked for her help.

She sniggered.

Then she swung down from the tree.

“Liz Polanski.” She landed on the ground, feet squared, the search-and-rescue knife held awkwardly in front of her. “If you try to touch me, I’ll kill you.”

Then she got to work cutting the net.

A search and rescue knife, as can be shown in a quick YouTube search, is capable of stabbing a man’s head off. The industrial-strength net was child’s play. As soon as he was free, Liz stepped back, zagging the knife across her chest defensively. This dullard hadn’t believed she was a killer; he might try to take her now. If he did, she would stab him and stab him until he was dead.

He was ogling her boobs.

WUT.

Liz Polanski was promiscuous to a fault. In any other situation, she would have immediately offered to sleep with him. In this situation, it would doom them both—especially because he would probably say yes.

“I—you should go now. And tell anyone you meet that Liz Polanski is a fucking butcher and you shouldn’t come near her. Okay?”
--------


Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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Sean
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[ *  * ]
Milo blinked.

The girl had just gone from shocked to amused to uncomfortable in the span of about two minutes, and Milo had no idea how to react. After a bit of deliberation, he decided to choose the "stubborn idiot" route.

"No, fuck that, I'm gonna go back to sleep. Wake me up if anything interesting happens," Milo told her as he fluffed his daypack a bit, set it down against a different tree, and laid down, resting his head on it.

"By the way, Liz, the name's Milo Taylor," he said as he drifted off into a deep, dreamless sleep.
Edited by Sean, Sep 13 2010, 09:26 PM.
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Quoth Super Llama:
 
One day, the fabled Ragnarok will come, and as the gods descend to earth and wage war while the world dies around them, WickedIcon will lead the charge, a 12-gauge shotgun in his right hand, and a bottle of Jack Daniels in his left as he rides a steed made of fire and pain.

And the masses will look upon him and weep at the beauty of it all.


Quote:
 
[19:25] Hallucinogenic: it's not like i wanna put my anus on parade


Quote:
 
04:26MimiOH
04:26MimiTHAT'S LESS BAD
04:27MimiI THOUGHT SHE HAD TO JERK OFF MONKEYS
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
storyspoiler
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[ *  *  * ]
Liz boggled.

The boy had gone to sleep under her tree.

She tried to figure out how to react. Steadily. For a few minutes. Finally she pulled some branches over him. It was dark. No one would see him. Hopefully someone who stumbled onto the copse would get a face full of Chris's guts and still decide a psycho-freak lived here. Anyway, he was more useful alive here. If some idiot came tramping up to the copse, he would yell a lot. And shoot whoever it was with his net gun. Not that it was of great use in a swamp.

She was tempted to relieve him of it. She decided not to. It was clamped in his hand, curled under his body, and he had about a 100% chance of waking up, at which point he'd probably shoot her with it. This way, at least, he'd shoot whatever intruders might or might not come in, and tangle them both.

This would make a large, spreadable target for sprays of rocks. Or fire.

Yes. She climbed up her tree. She was safe. For now.

It was night.

Liz shivered. With dark came chill. Her sweatshirt was weaponized, useless; she had to struggle through her backpack for a black turtleneck and a pair of reinforced cargo pants to let her try sleep without shivering. The swamp was alive tonight; animals with beating hearts, birds that whooped, crickets, or maybe frogs, chirping and koom-kooming on the banks, in the thralls of grass. Cool night; she curled up uncomfortably between two tree branches, small girl, hardly planer. This, she guessed, is what a camping trip would be like.

No. A camping trip would have had a tent. With people she was assigned with, unwilling, and hot bodies, sticky towards each other, and odd-smelling artificial canvas and still air. She might have crawled outside anyway, away from the girls who never liked her, to seek the chill, and odd sounds. Crickets and frogs--mating? Nesting? Calling out territory? Koom-koom, koom-koom. Doing math, crouching away from whatever chaperones would put her back in the tent. Koom-koom. Then sleep, in the chill night, probably on rocky ground. Not in a tree.

The lake of witch-oil reflected the moonish light, unearthly and beautiful at night as in day. Twists of faint silver light on the water, and a smell, stronger, but colder, more natural. Bursts of witch-oil flamed in the distance, spook-lights from the folktales, eerie and strange. Her mother had told her tales of young men following spook-lights, getting swallowed by sand and swamp-maidens. Liz wasn't moving.

This would go on, Liz realized, even after they all died. This haunt was distinctly inhuman. She was a visitor, a watcher, curled up, and cold.

The bruises on her neck made it hard to go to sleep.

It took every whippoorwill and frog's lullaby to lull her, in the chill air, in the unearthly (no: much too earthly) swamp, and darkness to fade her senses, and the lie to herself (or was it the truth?) that the boy at the bottom of the tree would act as a lookout. Sleep came by a harsh lullaby.

Loudspeaker crackle, disturbing, woke her; the first unnatural sound of the morning. Birds startled. Grey light. The swamp was pale, awash with dawn.

And the announcements came. A list of dead. A list of killers. Omar Burton, Kris Hartmann, Clio Gabriella, Reiko Ishida, Nick Reid, Ivan Kuznetsov, Rob Jenkins, Steffan Kronwell, Jackie Broughten, Colin Falcone. Liz wrote the names down. Watch out for those. She wondered when she'd be on the list.

A twist in her throat when Danya mentioned Chris Davidson's corpse.

I want him to never mention me.
--------


Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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How cute.
[ *  * ]
[Boy #14 - Alex White. Continued from Waking Up is Hard to do.]

♪ And I see that it makes me anti everything. ♫

On through the dusk, on through the night and on through the dawn, Alex had walked with the weight on his back and the weight on his mind dragging him back and fighting with his rational thoughts; But he had to keep moving, to chase the one he'd lost so long ago to save the ones he loved in the distant moments. He'd no idea where he was going or how long he'd been walking, which direction he was heading in or why he hadn't been using the flashlight, but that didn't stop his endless trek onward; Aching hands and bleeding arm, the ever building soreness in his legs, in his back, always being pushed to the far reaches of his mind, far from sight and far from thought. He had a task to complete, and he wouldn't let anything stop him.

Through the woods and to the base of the mountain, beyond twists and turns and the confusion of tree after tree, following the long lost scent of smoke and fire in the distance; He'd avoided the sounds in the distance and the explosions, avoid moving too far from his perceived path. He already had his target, already had his goal in mind, and wouldn't let someone else distract him. He avoided a pair of people by the river before he made his own way to it, taking what little water he could and washing the diesel from his hands and cleaning the pine sap from his clothes; He'd replaced the bandages on his arm and washed away the blood from his cut, a combat wound, the first of many to come and one he'd rather not leave unattended.

"God damn."

It stung when he used the supplied medical kit, taken back by the haphazard arrangement of said kit, as if someone had packed it themselves and tossed it into the bag without care; The contents were miss matched and didn't include everything in a typical first aid kit, but he made do with what he had, taking care of his arm before he moved on from the river. He'd long since forgotten about the map or the compass, or where Nick's path had gone or which direction he had run off in; All he did was keep on moving, stopping only when the flashlight in his hand began to flicker and die, an early loss of a desperately needed life line. He wouldn't get anywhere in the dark without light, not in these woods; Eventually, his walking stick, his weapon and tool of choice, became his source of light in the ever present darkness, a diesel soaked denim sleeve wrapped around the top, holding several bits of wood, sticky with pine sap and burning steadily.

A flickering, moving dot of light from a distance, disappearing behind trees and moving as quick as his sore, fatigue laden legs would carry him, Alex kept traveling through the night; Alone, with nothing but his thoughts and his stick, with his bags and the weight of his decisions looming over him. Alone with nothing but his actions to fill his mind, the reasons behind them and the excuses he conjured for them, the paranoia that caused them and the fear that would fuel his actions to come; Everything twisted around and around in his mind, reasons slipping into excuses and explanations slipping into rationalizations, every good intent pushing against the bad. He'd always been taught to stand up for others, always spent his life pushing to stand up on his own and help others around him; Always looking up to those he admired, those who became heroes because of what they overcame or what they fought against.

♪ I feel a fire flare alight inside me. ♫

He thought back to everything his father had taught him, about standing up against those who could stand against him and fighting for those who couldn't fight for themselves; About defending those he cared for and overcoming any pitfalls that might appear on his path. Everything his father had taught him about life, about his job and the responsibilities of a man, about the world and the people that inhabited it, about the actions they took and the decisions they made; He began to wonder if his family would understand his fight, understand why he was doing what he was, why he had attacked someone suddenly and why he was seeking them out, seeking to inflict harm upon others and remove their capacity to fight.

"Dad..."

♪ And aspire to survive this fight in spite... ♫

"I hope you understand. I couldn't let anything happen to my friends, right? Nick had a weapon, a tool of death that he may have used on someone I care for, something that would do irreparable harm to others if I just let him keep it."

He started speaking, not knowing if anything he said would reach the ears of his father, not knowing if those words would fall on the deaf ears of a cop who saw nothing but a criminal or if they would reach the ears of a man, worried for his son and the state of his mind. But he spoke on as he moved, as he trudged along with torch in hand, as he kept his erring path, as he fought the darkness and the fear and the paranoia and his own weak body, pushing onward with what strength he had in the face of the overwhelming decisions that would lay before him soon enough.

"So I did what I had to do, to try and take that weapon from him and rid this lonely world of that power... But I failed, didn't I? That smoke I smelled earlier, the scent I've been chasing all night... He killed someone, didn't he? I really am useless."

He knew he failed in his task within the woods behind him, at his fight with Nick as Andrea watched on; He was sure there were more within the pack Nick had dropped, the very one he had taken with him as he left the scene in a hurry, anger and fear fueling his legs and forcing his aching body away from Alex. He knew Nick would have been pushed by his actions, pushed to make his own decisions and make that choice to use his weapon; He had failed to stop him, he knew that, but he was intent on fixing that mistake.

"But I'm going to fix my mistake. I won't let him get away this time, even if I have to... have to do something I'll always regret. But I can't let anything happen to them. I can't. I don't want to, I don't even know if I could when it came down to it... but I have to protect the ones I care about, right Dad?"

♪ ...of liars and travesty. ♫

Alex pushed forward, pushed onward, forced his body to obey and continue with his chosen path, with his decision set in crumbling stone; He didn't know why he was talking to his father, talking to the cameras that lay within the darkness, mechanical eyes trained on his every move. He didn't know if he was trying to explain the situation or if he was just making excuses, if he was telling the truth to the man he called his father or if he was simply lying to himself, lying to the world of viewers at home, lying to those closest to him. But he pushed onward, his trek becoming silent once more, only the sound of his footfalls in the detritus being heard, the cracking and crunching and shuffling; The soothing crack of the fire in his hand caught his attention.

♪ I feel the fire. ♫




It was warmer now, the chill of the night passing as darkness gave way to twilight, the early morning sun barely peeking through the woods as the trees scattered from sight and path; His route slipped into the realm of stench and sick, the muck of dead matter, of muddy trails and stagnant pools. The rise of the sun was unwelcome in this place, the slowly changing light bringing him out of his single minded trek; He'd traveled long and far, through light and dark, through dusk and dawn, to arrive at a place he could not recognize, to a place with no fires in sight nor the smell of smoke or the signs of his quarry. With the dawn light came a revelation, a late coming realization of a mistake long since made.

He'd lost his way.

"Shit."

No other words were spoken as he began cursing his mistakes once more, blaming himself for not realizing this erred path sooner, blaming his arrogance and his anger, his paranoia and his focused hatred, blaming it all for clouding his mind and keeping him from seeing what should have been right in front of his eyes. But his self loathing, his cursing and his beating, it would all have to wait as noise pierced the quiet skies, as mechanical systems long since put in place came to life for what would be the first time out of many. And that voice issued forth from the cursed relay, the one he'd heard in the auditorium and the one he would hear for the next days and weeks to come.

♪ Oh the ones we choose. ♫

The list was read.

Remi... You idiot.

The very first name was familiar, a friend of a friend, a passing acquaintance, someone he knew from class or from a social group or something else that he couldn't quite remember, that he couldn't quite dredge up from the depths of his memories. But it was someone he knew, the only fact that mattered, someone he'd spoken with and someone that, no matter what had happened or would happen, would be missed and had been cared for. And for the first name to have been a death that was self inflicted, by purpose or by accident, by hand of god or twist of fate, by stupidity or dumb luck, it brought Alex out of the recesses of his mind and his self-defenestration.

Every name read off was met with a memory of a face, a conversation held within the halls of their school or the mall nearby, of a passing greeting in the halls or a meal shared with mutual friends, of a movie discussed over lunch or an eventful gathering at a party; Every name was a needle that dug into the mind of one already stretched to a point, a name that cause a sting and a burn, pain within his head and his heart. His classmates and his friends were dying, one after the other and there was nothing he could do to stop it, nothing he could have done to prevent it; No power present to lend him the ability to prevent further deaths, nothing to grant him the strength to force change, to fix the mistakes made.


Nick Reid.

He had killed someone after all. How long ago had it been since he smelled the smoke in the woods? Eight hours? Nine? Perhaps it was longer than that, but it was a moment long passed and a mistake long since made; He couldn't turn back the hands of time no matter how much he wanted, no matter how hard he would pull at the fabric of reality that was slipping away so fast. Nick Reid killed Daniel Vaughn. He killed someone Alex barely knew, a name he could barely attach to a face, someone he'd spent little time with but still smiled at, still offered a hand when needed and still greeting amicably in the halls or at parties. But he still killed someone that he knew, that was cared for and loved by their family and friends; He'd snuffed out a life through brutality and fire, through anger and rage, with a fury embodied.

"I'll make him pay, Daniel. Don't you worry. I'll get him."

♪ Oh the witch hunting fools. ♫

He spoke his piece and continued his silent reception, tuning in to the constant communication that came in from above, to the canned voice from far with a man behind it; A man who had made his choices long ago, who had made the decisions that lead to their presence in this hell. He would be on that list, the one slowly beginning to form within the mind of the young man with fire in his hands and his heart; A list that was getting longer as the minutes ran by, a list that stopped short as one name came out over the loud speaker, a name Alex did not expect to hear so soon or in such a manner.

"Colin..."

A familiar name and a familiar face, a long string of memories tied to music and mutual interest, of trips to the mall and group outings, of everyone together; Of Colin, of Remi, of Reika and of... of William. There was little he could do or say as he listened to the announcement, to the man with the booming voice and his list of dead and dying, his list of killed and killers. He thought of the names rattled off with emphasis, the comments made on the deaths themselves and the nature of their cause; For some, he thought of nothing more than bringing forth the harvest they would reap, the product of the seeds they had sown. For others, for one, he tried to process and understand, he hoped for an explanation and a rationalization; Self defense, protecting the weak, anything that would justify his choice and his actions.

"I hope you had reason."

He didn't know how he would react if he met Colin now, facts in hand and conclusions to draw; But that was a moment for later, one that may come or may pass by, and one that would be left out of sight and out of mind for the time being. As the messenger finished his declaration, as the danger zones and his little reward finished and the loudspeaker faded from earshot with a final note and a farewell. He noted the names and stored them within memory, he took from containment the map and marked the areas mentioned, and took a moment to understand where he was and where he had to have been; If his guess was right, he'd traveled far and ended in the swamp, though how far within the murky location was unknown. But at least he knew where he was and where he could go, where he had to avoid, and those that would fight for their survival at all costs. He wrote down the name of the award winner, someone to keep an eye out for; Brutality without reason was a danger to be culled, but rationality behind rage could prove an ally in the task at hand.

"The Key huh... Looks like I have a new destination."

With fact and figure, with truth and lie in hand, he lift his torch and shouldered his personal weight; He had a path and he knew his goal, however temporary it may be, and so his journey would resume. A distant spot in the muck filled landscape stood out, a place of sturdy footing; A place to rest and recover, a place to rest his body and his mind, a spot to enjoy the warmth of a fire and a meal of...

"...Frog."

The croaking that permeated the air was a good sign, the chirping of crickets and birds and the noise of animals all around; But where there were animals, there was also meat, something lacking from his meager rations of bread and water, of chips and sports drinks and candy, of a lone piece of jerky and the remnants of an empty bag, perhaps a mistake of sharing with friends during the ride and the wait. He shook the laughing and the images and the memories from his mind as he began his lonely trek towards his perceived salvation, towards rest and safety in the twilight.

Towards shifting shapes and heavy movement, towards a dip in the tree and a weighted branch up high.

"Fuck."

There was little use in hiding, the noise of his squishy footsteps and the burning torch having long since given his position away as he neared the site, as he moved closer to the possible threats and the dangers ahead. But he wondered who would have been among those present, among the figures and silhouettes in dawn light; He didn't stop his approach, but his bag began to sink, his arm reaching back, delving into the depths of the duffel bag, withdrawing his liberated prize, the gift and the curse from Nick Reid.

♪ Fire flare alight inside me... ♫

The Molotov.

It was the only one he had, it was missing a small portion of its contents, but it was large and it was intimidating, it was made for widespread destruction and a quick return on invested energy. He slipped it into his right hand, his staff and torch, his trusted weapon and one he'd used before moving to his left; Dominant hand ready for a throw, with crude walking stick held firmly, new energy and vigor filling his veins as he accepted his task. He turned to look, he outstretched his arm and shone the light upon the scene before him and his would-be destination further ahead. He recognized the shine of the water, of the refraction on the surface; Oil, petrol, fuel, a natural source of flammable materials. It stained the water. Nearer now, a hint of color on the ground, of red and of something other than the muck; Blood and remains, haphazardly strewn about, unnaturally placed, but they were certainly real, certainly belonging to one of the dead students listed moments earlier.

Someone was there.

Cautious and careful, he approached.


He pulled the bottle close.


He readied himself.



♪ Inspire the weary eyed...

To see the Ire and Irony...

Oh fire. ♫
Boy #??? - Joshua Edwards
Hanging out somewhere, playing his heart out.
Writer and local retail slave at the comic book store.

Girl #??? - Viktoriya "Vika" Starikova
Floating in the void, unfinished and half-formed.
Hot headed member of the soft ball team, secretly wishing she could fly.

Those who were
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Sean
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[ *  * ]
Milo's eyes opened. He was back in the fog of grogginess. It passed quickly and he became aware and alert.

This Danya weirdo was reading out announcements. A list of deaths that had just started.

Milo listened intently, and when the listing finished, he blinked a little.

Wait... what? Why didn't he mention... oh for fuck's sake! I called it! Milo stood up.

"Hey, Liz! You awake? Notice anything a little off about the announcements? Like the fact that you apparently didn't kill anyone?" he said to the tree that Liz was previously in.

He waited for an answer, but was jarred from his fog by a young man with a Molotov cocktail approaching him. The man appeared to be distressed.

"Liz, I've got this," he said again to the tree.

Easy prey, Milo thought as he walked towards the man, affecting a very shaken appearance, which was uncharacteristic of the great Milo Taylor; for all of the boy's faults, one thing that was worthwhile about him was that he was, quite frankly, too dim and egotistical to scare. Even if he were being mauled by a bear, like some poor sap on the island whose name Milo didn't bother noting, he would still scream about how awesome he is at the bear in hopes that his radiant manliness would scare it away.

Milo opened his eyes as wide as possible as he left the copse. Then, he lunged at the man.

"You've got to run! The chick up in that tree over there is a fucking butcher! She dismembered one of my friends with a knife and tried to force-feed me his guts! Save yourself or you'll be slaughtered like an animal too!" Milo screamed dramatically, sinking to his knees in front of the intruder.

This is SO going to work! Fuck yes! Milo thought, feeling triumphant at his new victory.
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Quoth Super Llama:
 
One day, the fabled Ragnarok will come, and as the gods descend to earth and wage war while the world dies around them, WickedIcon will lead the charge, a 12-gauge shotgun in his right hand, and a bottle of Jack Daniels in his left as he rides a steed made of fire and pain.

And the masses will look upon him and weep at the beauty of it all.


Quote:
 
[19:25] Hallucinogenic: it's not like i wanna put my anus on parade


Quote:
 
04:26MimiOH
04:26MimiTHAT'S LESS BAD
04:27MimiI THOUGHT SHE HAD TO JERK OFF MONKEYS
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Dr. Nic
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How cute.
[ *  * ]
[Posting by request of Storyspoiler.]

A form on the ground, one beneath the tree, sleeping and still as Alex approached, began to shift and move, standing and listening to the voice that had been calling out from on high; Someone at his intended place of rest, standing and speaking as he neared closer, as he moved with determination and intent. With weapons at the ready, stolen and created, with a flickering fire in his hand and heart, he approached his destination as silence descended upon the area; Whispers ahead of him, a voice he didn't recognize at this distance, at this volume and in this darkness, spoke a name he took note of, a name he hadn't heard in recent memory, a name he did not recognize.

He braced himself.

On the ground, the boy in the shadows moved and began his hidden plan, unknown intent behind his actions; Alex was his would-be victim, his mark and his target, the intended con for his dramatic performance. As he neared, as he left his place of safety, came out from the shadows with swift movement and wide eyes, the fire's light and the early morning twilight revealed his face; Milo Taylor, unliked and unwanted, narcissistic and caustic personality, with an air of self worth never earned through his own power. A weak boy, a victim of fights instigated and lost, a face never seen at parties or within large circles of friends, and one of the few people even Alex could not stand to be around for very long; A personality that ran opposite of his own, grating and annoying, with a venom filled tongue and an untrained bite.

♪ The harbingers of war with their nature revealed. ♫

It didn't seem right for him to suddenly shift his approach, to go from standing and speaking calmly just moments earlier to lunging from the shadows, wide eyed and fearful, with a scream and a shout, with yelling about a killer and a scene that made no sense; The scene was not a bloody mess, there was no true body within sight, no large form in the shadows. There was no blood on the boy, no signs of struggle and nothing to give his testimony merit; Nothing was right and Alex knew it, he wouldn't trust Milo back in reality on a good day and there was little reason to trust the boy now. A hidden plan and an unknown intent behind his actions, they'd all come forth and failed; Alex stepped back, looking from the kneeling boy in front of him to the tree ahead. He saw little on the ground, but knew someone was above in the branches, hidden from sight, weighted branches dipping under their burden; But he did spot something on the ground, an item forgotten behind the boy, the silhouette of a weapon, of a gun and a decent sized one at that.

♪ And our chances flowing by. ♫

He'd have to act fast if he wanted to prevent what he knew was coming, what everything in his mind and body screamed was coming, what his paranoia told him was in the shadows and what his fear demanded he prevent. Milo was lying, he was sure of it, but pangs of doubt and paranoia slipped to the front, pushing his actions with rationalization and reasoning, with excuses and explanations; If the truth was being told, he was taking the proper route, he was taking the right precautions. With Milo still on his knees, with confidence and intent, with a speed that came with casting aside hesitation, Alex lit the molotov with the torch.

"Right."

He threw it hard, above Milo's head and toward the base of the tree, toward the silhouetted weapon and the pile of branches, toward the hiding place of a potential killer; He wouldn't wait this time, wouldn't hesitate and make another mistake. If there was someone there, if these people were a danger to others as he thought, he wouldn't let them get away as Nick did. He wouldn't let someone else die because of his mistake, his inability to prevent the actions of would-be killers.

He would fight.


He would stop them.


He would protect others.

Someone.

Anyone.



Daniel Vaughn would not be repeated.
Boy #??? - Joshua Edwards
Hanging out somewhere, playing his heart out.
Writer and local retail slave at the comic book store.

Girl #??? - Viktoriya "Vika" Starikova
Floating in the void, unfinished and half-formed.
Hot headed member of the soft ball team, secretly wishing she could fly.

Those who were
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storyspoiler
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[ *  *  * ]
It was still cold dawn when she heard rustling at the bottom of the tree. Milo had been woken by the announcements too.

"Hey, Liz! You awake? Notice anything a little off about the announcements? Like the fact that you apparently didn't kill anyone?"

Shit. She knew she shouldn't have told Milo her name. Then she could have been Kris Hartmann. Or Clio Gabriella.

But there was a newer danger. Alex P. White. A boy, fairly popular, did every activity on the planet. He was lurching towards the tree with a torch in one hand and a cocktail in the other.

She separated some rounded rocks from the top of the two weighted bags. Put them, softly, in a rot-cavity in the tree, next to her coshes. Within reach. Her hands were near the bags, ready to drop them.

She brought her knees toward her, held the knife in her hand. She felt meditative. Focused. Ready.

"Liz, I've got this." Said Milo.

What?

Milo lunged at Alex. "You've got to run! The chick up in that tree over there is a fucking butcher! She dismembered one of my friends with a knife and tried to force-feed me his guts! Save yourself or you'll be slaughtered like an animal too!"

He had told him where she was. Liz hoped he wasn't believed.

No such luck. Alex P. White threw a molotov cocktail at the tree.

Shit.

Blaze on the ground. She wasn't safe.

Obviously, in her plan to make people think she was a psycho-killer, she had never bothered to factor in the full range of human stupidity. Now this guy had thrown his one weapon at her tree, making it not useful when the hypothetical psycho-killer came down from the branches and attempted grisly murder, and also he had lit her tree on fire. Which meant her plan of laying low in an out of the way tree was now not a plan anymore.

Knife, lighter in pocket one. Cosh in pocket two. Other cosh in her left hand. Backpack on her back. Thought about her first few moves, then jumped into the burning.

Brushfires didn't burn that hot. Liz's boots were fine cover. Alex P. White was in front of her, looking combative. Big guy, no weapon. His eyes darted right and left. She stepped out of the fire.

Liz had grabbed some burning crap on the way down with her bad hand, her right hand. She threw it in Alex P. White's face now, feeling her own hand sizzle and sparks fly in all directions. When he flinched and covered his face, Liz fastballed the cosh from her left hand, aiming for his solar plexus. A plexus hit would be good; those did anything from knock the wind out of you to give you a heart attack. But even a hard stomach hit (and it would be hard with a fastball) would give him something to think about.

Some of the synthetic material from her boots had melted onto her feet. It stung like a bitch. She took the knife out of her pocket and went to deal with Alex P. White.

But something sizzled in the back of her mind, and suddenly Milo grabbed her shoulder, gibbering something about victory and the fire. Not going to deal with this now. She elbowed him in the face, and picked up his net gun, pocketing it.

Sizzling.

Alex P. White had been more of a moron then she realized.

The oily swamp had lit aflame.



(NOTE: I am not lighting the entire swamp on fire--just the oily region directly behind Liz. If you want this blaze to spread to your thread, that's up to you, but it's perfectly happy just to burn down in the swamp-oil of Hideaway if you don't)
Edited by storyspoiler, Sep 20 2010, 07:05 PM.
--------


Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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Sean
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[ *  * ]
Milo felt pain, and then a pang of sudden fear.

Fear, as if the swamp was on fucking fire behind him.

When his senses returned to him, he was on his back in the middle of the swamp. He stood up (his nice suit now covered in oil), looked down and...

Oh shit, Milo thought as he realized that he was now totally unarmed. Milo then looked behind him, saw the full scope of the damage the idiot with a Molotov cocktail had done, realized what the hell had just happened, and decided to vocalize his thoughts.

"Oh shit," Milo said. "Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit. I think we'd better run."
Edited by Sean, Sep 26 2010, 12:17 AM.
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V5 Characters


Quoth Super Llama:
 
One day, the fabled Ragnarok will come, and as the gods descend to earth and wage war while the world dies around them, WickedIcon will lead the charge, a 12-gauge shotgun in his right hand, and a bottle of Jack Daniels in his left as he rides a steed made of fire and pain.

And the masses will look upon him and weep at the beauty of it all.


Quote:
 
[19:25] Hallucinogenic: it's not like i wanna put my anus on parade


Quote:
 
04:26MimiOH
04:26MimiTHAT'S LESS BAD
04:27MimiI THOUGHT SHE HAD TO JERK OFF MONKEYS
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Dr. Nic
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How cute.
[ *  * ]
Milo had done nothing, had only sat there and watched as Alex threw the stolen weapon, the fuel filled and lit molotov; In the back of his mind, he expected resistance, he expected for the boy to do something, to grab at the weapon or Alex himself, but nothing had been done. Just a blank look of disbelief as the weapon soared over his head, as it traveled toward its target; The sound of shattering glass and a sudden burst of fire told Alex he hit his target or at least hit something. As the fire spread and the fuel fed the flames, he had assumed that he accomplished what he set out to do; Within moments, the person hiding in the tree would jump out, would climb down and flee from the fire. It was a natural reaction. It was something everyone, anyone, would do.

But that is not what happened.

At first there was nothing, no movement and no signs anyone was actually there, just the sound of the fire and the quickly building heat; He would have turned away and left, putting distance between himself and the fire, if that relative silence continued. But movement in the tree, a figure dropping down from the branches with a heavy impact, a good distance to drop from for anyone, stopped his would-be actions. Just as Milo had said, there was someone in the tree, someone who didn't seem right, her skin absolutely filthy and stained brown. Her sudden appearance didn't surprise him, wasn't the cause for him to be taken aback; It was the place she landed, the place she purposely landed in, that had him shocked.

She landed in right in the fire.

Certainly there had been more places she could have landed, certainly she could have simply jumped away from the tree and landed in the bushes or the dirt or even the murky pools nearby if she got the distance. But no, she had landed in the fire and now stood there, a sock in one hand and burning debris in the other, as she prepared to hurl the burning crud; Despite the sheer heat, the flames lapping at her body, at her clothes, always threatening to light her up like any other piece of fuel, she stood there. It would have been disturbing if it weren't for the sheer audacity of it. Surely, she wouldn't last.

But he had his own problems.

The fiery debris, a collection of burning leaves and twigs and bits of detritus lit aflame by the heat of the raging fire, has left her hand at impressive speed, bits and pieces flying off the whole of it as it soared toward Alex's face; He covered his eyes, bringing his bandaged arm up to protect him from the debris, the litter striking his arm and breaking up, small embers and smoke being all that was left behind; A small black mark, of soot and ash, stained the already torn sleeve of his shirt. But that was the least of his worries.

Fuck!

Just as he began to lower his arm, to bring the obstruction away from his face and recover his blocked vision, he saw the girl preparing to throw the other object that she held; A decent sized object, a strangely shaped and weighted sock, hurtled toward him. He thought it weighted with a rock at first, thought the black object had been a rock from the first fleeting sight of it; But as he turned to protect himself, as it impacted his side with a heavy thump, he realized it was far more yielding than any rock should be. It altered its shape as it struck his side, as it struck his ribs with a dull pain and again as it fell to the ground; She'd filled a sock with sand, using it as a weapon. She would have been better off with a rock.

"Oh you bitch!"

He turned back, shifted his position, put his torch forward with clear intent as a weapon; Surrounded by fire and flame, he would fight with the very fire that threatened to consume the girl every adrenaline fueled second she stood within it. Denim and cotton alike would soon singe and catch, would soon burn and blister her if she remained within the fire; Without the intent to do so, it appeared Alex would become the cause of much pain and suffering in this girl. Perhaps even she wasn't foolish enough to remain within the flames for much longer, removing herself from the hellfire and drawing a far more deadly weapon than a sand weighted sock; A knife, sharp and stained and long since misused.

He moved to defend himself.

Stepping back as she approached, he moved blindly where he should have known to check; Always watch your footing, the advice flashing within his mind as he felt the dirt and the mud give way under his shoe, as he felt the murky liquid touch his leg and stain his jeans. He stumbled and his leg buckled, his knee hitting the mud with a wet thud, but he never took his eyes off of the girl and her knife; He watched her as she approached Milo, as she turned back to face the boy as he regained his ability to move and speak. He watched as Milo was met with hostility and thievery, as the girl looked back at something and as Milo repeated his curses. As he said the first thing to make sense since his appearance. As he suggested something that got Alex's blood pumping, something that gave rise to fears and anxiety, to anger and a rage he was familiar with.

"You're not going anywhere!"

He hoisted himself out of the muck.


"Not while I'm still fucking breathing!"



He brandished his weapon.




"Drop the fucking knife!"



They were not getting away.

Not this time.

Not again.
Boy #??? - Joshua Edwards
Hanging out somewhere, playing his heart out.
Writer and local retail slave at the comic book store.

Girl #??? - Viktoriya "Vika" Starikova
Floating in the void, unfinished and half-formed.
Hot headed member of the soft ball team, secretly wishing she could fly.

Those who were
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