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The Man-slut, the Cocktease and the Lover
Topic Started: Sep 19 2010, 05:19 PM (4,178 Views)
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[ *  *  * ]
(Liz Polanski continued from Hideaway)

Cyrille LaBlanche. That was her name. She was one of the few people Liz hadn't immediately taken a dim view of in school. And now she was dead.

Her bag was beside her. She looked inside it. Supplies, but no weapon. She took the roll of adhesive cloth tape out of the first aid kit and put bandages over the name. No more G062, Cyrille LaBlanche. It was Liz Polanski's bag now.

Leaning over the corpse, she took a penny and a quarter out of the last pocket of her cargo pants, licked them and laid them on Cyrille's eyes. It was pagan, but at least it was something.

Her plan had failed. All her decisions within the plan had been logical. She knew this. But she had failed to predict human nature. As usual. Apparently people didn't want to stay away from players. They wanted to kill them. So she would pretend to be something other than a player. She would make alliances. Like a real person. She would escape.

Make alliances. That required working with people. Unpredictable people.

Wouldn't that be fun.

She set to work on the net.

She worked by the light of the flashlight, tying knots into the parts she cut, sealing them over with adhesive tape, and testing. The net scraped a little now when it came out of the gun, but it was otherwise functional. Good.

She worked by the light of the flashlight, which was unwise, but she was in an alcove, tucked away and unshootable by any kind of ranged weapon. And anyone who saw the light and decided to close in on her would have to cross a sheet of gravel first. In that time, Liz could put her hands on the cosh and flip up the knife.

Her hands were blistered. The palms, not the fingertips, at least. The blisters were swelling up, filling with fluid. Her feet were in the same. She had peeled her boots off to let those sores get some air. The plastic inside the shoes had warped. She scratched at the inside until it was relatively smooth again. Cyrille had packed aqua-tinted aloe (for sunburns) and a pair of extra socks. Navy blue. Liz rubbed the aloe on her hands, her feet, her face, and put the socks on. Less pain.

She slipped on her shoes again. Slightly more pain. But it was alright. Standing up was a careful task. Time to look for relays in the mountain.

She taped a piece of gauze over the light to mute the glow, put her knife in her left hand, and stepped out of the alcove.

And that's when she heard the scream.

Haruka Watanabe. Quiet girl. Worked at animal shelters. Had just crashed into Frankie Fiamatta (stoner, soccer, crazy, dangerous), and they had both fallen to the floor. It was a miracle neither of them had noticed her.

She wanted to pull back into the alcove, but then Frankie started shouting.

"The fuck was that for?" Frankie barked at the girl. "What the fuck did I do to you, you stupid cunt?!"

And now Liz was out of the alcove, knife out, shoulder blades raised.

"Hey, are you even fucking listening to me?" Frankie looked like she was going to hit Haruka. "I'm fucking talking to you, listen to me!"

And Liz walked forward, and shoved Frankie Fiametta out of the way. There was no use bothering with words there. She knelt over Haruka, bent over her, really. Protective? I'm being protective?. The girl's face was streaked with tears, and she was whispering, frightened.

“I d-don’t wanna d-d-die."

A stutter. Liz put the knife back into her shirt, and held her hands up, so Haruka could see them. No weapons. This seemed to calm the girl a little bit.

She lowered her hands enough to push the hair out of Haruka's face. "Hush, kid. Hey. Everything's gonna be alright." Lies, but maybe she could believe them. This kid seemed to need them.

"I've got a couple ideas for escape plans, but shhhhh, don't say it loud. I don't know how sensitive the cameras are here. We're gonna get out."

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

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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[ *  *  * ]
Haruka shot out from under her. Liz startled, almost fell over before she could brace herself. The girl hid behind Duncan, crying still. The oar clattered to the floor, and Feo Smith picked it up.

Great job, Liz.

She was still covered in blood. And there were people around her, surprise, which meant she could feel a twist in her stomach. It figures, that she could survive a firebombing and near-strangulation only to have exhaustion hit her when some nasty people from school appeared and started surrounding her, noncombat, tense.

She was on the ground, four limbs touching stone, feeling like jelly. Frankie Fiametta was ranting. Haruka was crying. Great job, Liz. Great job. You really got this one down.

People. Who she was supposed to deal with. Like herself. It took real mental effort to remember who she was supposed to be. Liz Polanski, goth girl extraordinare. Drug dealer, gossip, universally hated.

That loosened her muscles, if not her tongue.

She stood up, took the knife out of her shirt again, and backed off. Frankie Fiametta was still going on. Feo, Ethan and Duncan were staring at her.

"What did you do?" Feo said nastily. "Whatever it was, don't try that shit with me."

Liz shrugged, feeling her stomach settle. She wasn't going to try that shit with Feo. It hadn't worked the first time, and Feo was definitely smarter than Milo Taylor or Alex P. White.

Instead she backed up, hands revealed, until she reached a wall in the camera's blind spot. Watched the others. Pulled the black lipstick out of her pocket, dumped the marsh water out of it, and wrote.


Pointed to this, put her finger over her mouth. Then turned from them, and walked deeper into the tunnels.

Gravel slid under her feet. Were people following her?

I don't want people anyway.

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

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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No paper. Liz stopped, and tried to memorize the names in the announcements, but her brain was skipping exhaustedly. Some murderer's names got through. She hoped that was enough. Duncan spoke, something about Maria Graham and another Maria. Then Feo spoke, less distinct, and suddenly she and Ethan were following Liz. Liz tried to convince herself that this was a good thing. Maybe it was.

They walked.

It was a long walk. The island was moist, so the cave walls were moist. Moss turned to mold. They shone flashlights around like idiots, looking for reflections, signs of metal, or plastic.

"There's a relay." Feo said finally. Her nail was on a black matte box.

Liz turned. Looked at it. Crouched down, so she was eye-level with it. Touched it, gingerly. It was covered in static. She felt around it. It was a relay alright.

There were loose rocks near her. She picked one up to break the relay. She must have been telegraphing her actions. Ethan grabbed her hand.

"What the fuck do you think you're doing?" He was spitting in her ear. "You do that and they'll send you sky high. If you wanna blow yourself up, do it without us."

Her hand stiffened, then relaxed. She had been hasty. Hopeful. She needed to think more. Come up with a better plan. She let Ethan pull her back. He squeezed her wrist, hard. She gritted her teeth. Did her best to remain polite.

"Please let me go."

He did. Dropped her like she was something disgusting. Liz had to put her hand on the cavern wall to catch herself.

"There's one. There's gonna be more. This plan now sucks." Feo said. She kicked a rock. It skittered away, past Liz.

"Let's surface." Ethan said. He looked tired.

Let's surface.

They surfaced. A grim rock-dusted party.

"Let's split." Said Ethan.

And Feo and Ethan split.

Liz sat for a while, looking at the stars. It was dark now, again. She could pick out constellations in the sky. It was clear. Beautiful.

She smoked a cigarette under the quiet night sky. Lay back on the ground. Counted primes. Failed to blow smoke rings above her head. Amused herself trying.

Finally she looked at the map of the island. A new idea came, tentative. She let it shimmer down to the edge of her vision. Fixed the net gun instead, with double-square knots and sticking plaster. Didn't push the idea. Slept on it instead. Her back against stone.

Birdcalls woke her. The morning was dim, wet and still.

She picked up her bag and started to walk.

(Liz Polanski continued in God's Unwanted Children)

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

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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