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Keeping the Faith
Topic Started: Sep 12 2010, 03:41 AM (1,535 Views)
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is the Soul Machine.
[ *  *  * ]
((Rachel Gettys continued from Take, Eat))

As if the swamp wasn't enough.

Rachel batted the low-hanging branches out of her face as she pressed on through the woods. The trees had been tugging on her burgundy cardigan and snapping at her hair, the former of which wasn't cheap and the latter of which hurt. She hadn't long departed the swamp, and hadn't bothered to check if anyone had followed her - she was following a fairly noticeable path through the trees, and if anyone had an idea of tagging along, she was moving slow enough for them to catch up. She had, however, noted that the island seemed to be one painful inconvenience after the other. It was as if Danya had set out to make the 'trip' as irritating as possible.

Her daypack hung from her side like some kind of feeble khaki pendulum, snagging every so often on a loose twig or tall rock. In fact, coming to think of it, that was something that Rachel found weird; for all the fauna creeping into it, the path she was on had obviously been designed as some kind of walking track. It was the first indication of civilisation she'd seen since arriving - her fellow students didn't count - but knowing what little she knew of that cackling, smug Eurotrash, she figured that was all she was going to be seeing in her time on the island. Indications.

A loud crackling echoed through the woods, and Rachel stopped in her tracks. It sounded like static from a radio of some kind, but that's impossible, there's no way...

Clap. Clap. Clap.

That bohunk can go burn in hell.

Burning with rage at the arrogant polock's showboating as he rattled off the day's events, she continued her tramping through the trees. The cheerfully blasé attitude he was taking to all the killing rubbed Rachel the wrong way - it was horrific, the most terribly unchristian thing she'd ever born witness to in her life. Eventually, in order to drown out Danya's shrill gloating, she dug into her daypack and pulled it out.

At least it's useful for something on this island.

She began shaking and banging the tambourine, singing a hymn in order to make it something other than a weak rhythm to walk to. Soon, the lyrics to "Shine Jesus Shine" were bouncing through the trees and out of the canopy, managing to escape into the safety of the wilderness. It was her favourite hymn, buoyant and appropriately grand, and even if she was a little off-key, it was better than Danya chortling about how many kids he sent to their deaths. Anything was better than that.

Very deliberately lost in a celebration of God setting her heart on fire and brightening up her blood, Rachel kept on pushing along the path and into the woods. She was so lost in her celebration, she didn't even notice the path coming to an end up ahead. Nor did she notice the steep reason why that was so.
THE LIVING - V4
G087 - Rachel Gettys / Tambourine / The Groundskeeper's Hut / Babysitter: Ciel
B027 - Dustin Royal / Yatagan / Residential Area / Babysitter: Hollyquin
B108 - Ma'afu Tuigamala / Astra 400 (9mm) [x3 magazines (8 round capacity)] / The Tunnels / Babysitter: Inky


THE DECEASED - V4
B097 - Max Neill / The Lighthouse

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[ *  *  * ]
Unfortunately for Miss Gettys, her surrender to the music - so clever in her mind, so calculated - wasn't to last for long, as a snarky, contemptible voice cut through the praise-giving. "I really doubt God's gonna be of any help all the way out here."

Rachel stopped dead in her tracks, her daypack keeping the time for a few seconds before coming to a halt with its owners. She turned to the kid who'd just sassed her, a tall and smart-looking 'scenester' of some description. The cardigan-wearing girl barely tried to hide how unimpressed she was. Trust one of those emo kids to go around preaching the gospel of Dawkins.

"Thanks for the heads up, Bill Hicks," she spat in reply, her voice dripping with the venom she reserved for occasions like this. "I'll be sure to remember that when I pass you on my way to heaven." They were all the same, those atheists. Disrespectful. Unpleasant. So up themselv"DIE BITCH!"

Rachel spun around to glimpse a boy wearing a Nixon mask - only a glimpse, as he had propelled himself out of a hiding place a few metres away and, in a few short seconds, had slammed bodily into her, sending her careening backwards. Rachel had no time to react from the unexpected barging, to regain her footing or roll to the side. One one hand, the kid had been too damn quick to give her the time.

On the other hand, the ground had disappeared from under her as she tumbled backwards. That sort of thing wasn't known for giving people time to react.

Rachel hadn't noticed the cliff - if she had, she probably wouldn't have stopped directly in front of it so any joker could push her off it and onto the tough forest floor below. But she had. And she did. And as she fell backwards, Rachel asked herself how she could've been so stupid. Daddy had taught her better than this.

Thud.
THE LIVING - V4
G087 - Rachel Gettys / Tambourine / The Groundskeeper's Hut / Babysitter: Ciel
B027 - Dustin Royal / Yatagan / Residential Area / Babysitter: Hollyquin
B108 - Ma'afu Tuigamala / Astra 400 (9mm) [x3 magazines (8 round capacity)] / The Tunnels / Babysitter: Inky


THE DECEASED - V4
B097 - Max Neill / The Lighthouse

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PIGE AND ARCH - SALES MASTERS!!!
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is the Soul Machine.
[ *  *  * ]
The gates were brighter than she anticipated. Probably because they were on fire.

The brilliant white fire danced as the gates lurched open, and Rachel watched the glorious, unworldly flames as they rose and flickered. They were quite unlike anything she'd seen before. So, too, was what the gargantuan wrought iron gates guarded - a foyer of polished marble and Corinthian columns, extending past the horizon and warmly lit by a source unknown. Rachel stole one glance at the dark nothing behind her, as if to reassure herself, and then strode into the beautiful hall.

As the gates creaked shut behind her, Rachel took in the staggering glory of her surroundings. She found herself caught short as she contemplated the endless structure, her gasping an inadequate means of conveying the wonder she was standing in.

This all seemed rather familiar to Rachel. She took it all in with the eyes of someone experiencing deja vu, unsure of whether she was seeing the structure for the second time or for the first time again.

A loud, authoritative voice boomed through the neverending corridor.

This was definitely familiar.

Now is not your time, the voice intoned, at once soothing and instructive. Rachel nodded in acceptance.

"What would you have me do?"

Go forth, spoke the voice, and do my good works.

"How?"

There was a pause. It lasted for but a fraction of a second, but the silence hung in the air for what felt like a century. Then, the voice continued.

Do you know your scripture?

"Yes."

Matthew 16:4.

Rachel paused, but did not scramble for the passage. Normally, she would have, but it seemed to come easily in this environment, in His presence. "A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah. And he left them, and departed."

The voice emitted a low hum of acceptance, and then continued. My flock has become restless. It mocks my teachings and abuses the free will upon which I have bestowed it, performing evil acts in my name. I cannot intervene - such action would be inappropriate. But I must give my flock a chance at redemption, an opportunity to restore order and peace.

Rachel nodded. She had no inkling of what was coming, and yet, she felt she knew absolutely what was to be asked of her.

They seek after a sign. I shall provide one for them. The sign of the prophet Jonah. You, my virtuous daughter Rachel, shall bear that sign. For three days and three nights, you shall survive this island. Though you are beset on all sides by faithlessness and doubt and sin, you shall persevere. You shall show my flock that the road to salvation is through me, and that if they decline this road, if they doubt it and scorn it, then they shall fall victim to the influence of Satan.

Rachel accepted the request with a nod and a smile - a genuine one, unlike that which she normally employed. She felt oddly at peace with what she had to do. Her task was a divine one, and she had to follow it, no matter the temptation to stray from the course.

You must show my flock the road. Those who do not follow are doomed to damnation in the pits of Hell. If they would stand in your way, do everything in your power to remove them.

Now you must wake up, Rachel, for a demon attacks.

WAKE UP, RACHEL.



Rachel gasped as her eyes flew open, the immediacy of the situation distressingly apparent. He had not lied - a demon was assaulting her, straddling her and attempting to strangle her with his unholy grip. Rachel struggled under his hands, the monstrous figure breathing heavily as he pressed down on her throat. He was taking pleasure in this, Rachel could tell - he was diseased, possessed by a hellish figure that wanted him to kill Rachel and like it, to revel in the extinguishing of the flame carried by His loyal servant. The devil in the Nixon mask was trying to prevent the sign of Jonah from being given to the flock.

Rachel would not let that happen.

Her breathing growing short and sharp, she stretched out her left arm and began fumbling around, looking for something, anything to remove this fiend from her path. Her hand connected with something hard and jagged - a rock. Her throat began to close up. Her fingers gripped the rock tightly. She glared at the Nixon mask, almost unreal in the dead of night.

She swung.
THE LIVING - V4
G087 - Rachel Gettys / Tambourine / The Groundskeeper's Hut / Babysitter: Ciel
B027 - Dustin Royal / Yatagan / Residential Area / Babysitter: Hollyquin
B108 - Ma'afu Tuigamala / Astra 400 (9mm) [x3 magazines (8 round capacity)] / The Tunnels / Babysitter: Inky


THE DECEASED - V4
B097 - Max Neill / The Lighthouse

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[ *  *  * ]
There was a lot of blood. Certainly more than she'd expected. She hadn't really aimed at anything in particular, so maybe she'd hit an artery that she didn't know about or something like that. But still. It was a lot of blood.

Her arm dropped back to her side, the rock still tightly clasped in her hand. Blood trickled from the stone's point down onto her fingers and into the palm of her hand, forming a small pool of red liquid.

The boy swayed a little, blood spurting out from the deep wound with every heartbeat. His grip on her neck loosened, the sticky red fluid trickling onto the girl's burgundy cardigan and white blouse. Slowly, his body began weighing itself down, the life draining out of him as he drowsily collapsed onto her.

Rachel snapped back to reality. It wasn't pleasant. There was a corpse lying on her, its lifeless eyes staring at her through that flabby plastic mask. Wasting no time, she shoved the boy off her and sat up, breathing heavily and panicking. She looked at the rock in her hand, covered in the boy's dark red blood. She gagged at the sight and threw the stone as far as she possibly could.

She looked at the dead boy again. She'd killed him - that wasn't even remotely in doubt. She'd taken a life. She'd violated the principles she lived by. She'd gone back on everything she'd been taught, everything she'd been told was morally acceptable. People would find out. This was Survival of the Fittest, it was broadcast. People would see what she'd done. What would they say? What would her church say? What would her parents say?

They'd say she was right in doing what she did. It was self defense. The boy was going to kill her. If she hadn't acted, she wouldn't be sitting here now, contemplating this. If she hadn't acted, she would be the one staring at her killer through dead eyes. If she hadn't acted, she would have failed everyone who'd invested in her, who'd helped her to where she was. Her church. Her parents. Her God.

Rachel remembered the vision vividly. It wasn't a dream - dreams weren't real, dreams didn't feel real. This had felt real, was real. She'd been told to stay alive, to spread the message, to do anything it took to show people the sign. Heck, she even remembered exactly what He had said. You must show my flock the road. Those who do not follow are doomed to damnation in the pits of Hell. If they would stand in your way, do everything in your power to remove them. The boy in the Nixon mask had stood in her way, had chosen not to follow her. She had removed him. It was simple. What she'd done was not only justifiable, it was right. He had said as much.

Rachel attempted to push herself up onto her feet, but quickly fell back onto her backside, the sudden shock of pain shooting through her left leg. She'd sprained her ankle, or so it seemed, but that was easily overcome. All she needed to do was find a crutch of some description and some cold water and she'd be mobile enough. It was a miracle that was the only injury she'd suffered from the fall, and she quietly thanked Him before attempting to stand up for the second time. She grimaced through the pain, her left ankle stinging under the pressure. Elevating the ankle, she hopped over to a nearby tree and leaned up against it, looking for a stick or something that she could walk with.

At the top of the cliff, the rude atheist from earlier was staring at her. Feeling eyes on her, she looked up at him, his face white with fear. "Looks like you're a killer now, he unhelpfully offered, his voice quivering despite the snark. "Next morning, everyone's gonna know what you did. Hope you like the exposure." Rachel glared at him for a while before resuming her search for a stick. He would soon see why it was important she lived.

Soon everyone would see why.
THE LIVING - V4
G087 - Rachel Gettys / Tambourine / The Groundskeeper's Hut / Babysitter: Ciel
B027 - Dustin Royal / Yatagan / Residential Area / Babysitter: Hollyquin
B108 - Ma'afu Tuigamala / Astra 400 (9mm) [x3 magazines (8 round capacity)] / The Tunnels / Babysitter: Inky


THE DECEASED - V4
B097 - Max Neill / The Lighthouse

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PIGE AND ARCH - SALES MASTERS!!!
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[ *  *  * ]
Eventually, Rachel found a decent-sized stick. It was sturdy and held her weight when she leaned on it - it would do for now. There was an infirmary on the island, the map had said so. Perhaps there would be a crutch there, or at least something to take the edge off. Her ankle was killing her.

She opened her daypack. Nothing seemed to be broken, though a lot of the crackers had snapped and crumbled in the fall. Not that Rachel could care right now. She would only be here for three days and three nights before she was the last to remain. She wouldn't be needing her crackers.

She pulled out her water bottle and took a short swig from it. It was refreshing, brought her back after what had just happened. She made a point of not looking at the body of the dead boy, the boy she killed. He wasn't her concern any more.

Rachel tossed the bottle back in her bag and began hobbling off to the infirmary. It was going to be imperative that she had full mobility as she made the message known. Nobody could miss out.

((Rachel Gettys continued in Going Round in Circles))
THE LIVING - V4
G087 - Rachel Gettys / Tambourine / The Groundskeeper's Hut / Babysitter: Ciel
B027 - Dustin Royal / Yatagan / Residential Area / Babysitter: Hollyquin
B108 - Ma'afu Tuigamala / Astra 400 (9mm) [x3 magazines (8 round capacity)] / The Tunnels / Babysitter: Inky


THE DECEASED - V4
B097 - Max Neill / The Lighthouse

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