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Sorry, Mom. Sorry, God.; Day 2 (Night) - THREAD CLOSED
Topic Started: Oct 8 2010, 11:49 PM (4,807 Views)
Chib
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
[It's hard to walk tall when you're small --> Ema Ryan]

Maybe leaving the dysfunctional group at the bridge behind had been a bad idea. Setting off into the felled forest, Ema had been cautiously optimistic, and confident that she'd continue to do alright at reading the map. After all, she'd made it all the way through the swamp without getting lost, right?

Well, it was right that she hadn't gotten lost in the swamp. But she'd had a river to follow, she'd had daylight to show her the way, and she'd only really had one direction to travel. For all the foliage, the swamp hadn't been particularly overgrown, so keeping to one heading hadn't been particularly hard, even if actually moving forwards had been an effort. Not so with the non-felled forest. Navigating a field of treestumps had been easy, but it only served to make Ema less prepared for the journey through the trees that had yet to be cut down.

With the setting sun on her back, the first few hundred metres hadn't been so bad. She kept an eye on the position of the sun, she made sure she wasn't going around in circles, and she kept up a brisk pace, covering ground rather quickly. Unfortunately, by the time the sun had finally dropped below the horizon, she was still amongst the trees. Not yet realising there was also a compass in her daypack, and making occasional detours every time she heard the slightest possibly-human noise, Ema quickly found herself hopelessly lost in the woods. Being familiar with the legend of Slender Man, even though she knew full well he wasn't real, that was not a good place to be.

---

By the time she made it out, the last of the evening twilight had gone, and the only lights left in the skies were the stars. Thankfully, there was no longer a leafy canopy to obscure them for the second leg of Ema's epic trek. Even with her aching feet crying out for rest, the determined girl made a point of not stopping, and not taking the shorter route past the Grounderskeeper's Hut and the Mansion. Originally, the plan had been to head for the Mansion itself, but a long walk's worth of thinking had changed Ema's mind, and she'd decided instead to aim for the beach - yes, on the very opposite end of the island to where she'd started.

And so, keeping to the more rugged eastern coastline of the island, Ema took the long route, with her mind maintaining that even a short break at a beach, given the circumstances, would be a fantastic means of rest and relaxation, and a morale booster... her feet were having none of it, replying with the rather primal response "Aching, aching, aching, ACHING NOW, HAVE YOU NOTICED? STOP WALKING."

But eventually, much to the relief of her tired lower-half, the fatigued young lady hit the final tree-line, and could see her destination. Her brain told her "Finally, I was worried this would take until bloody morning...", whilst her feet didn't change their tune at all, "We're here now. CAN WE STOP NOW?". But Ema willed herself on for a few more steps. As much as she would've loved to have lain down to sleep until the sunrise amongst the trees, something was bothering her. Perhaps it was just waves, and the evening darkness conspiring with her tired eyes to deceive her, but Ema could have sworn she saw shapes moving in the water. Just who the hell would be swimming at this hour?

Cautiously, she broke the cover of trees, creeping in spite of the soft sand underfoot, and approached slowly. Two people, apparently, and close together. Didn't look like the violent kind of close together, so probably the intimate kind. Ema would've backed away at that decision, headed back to the trees and remarked to herself how romantic it was to swim in the ocean together by starlight, ignoring the death and disaster going on all around. She would've, if she hadn't recognised one of the voices. Unmistakeable.

"...Hayley?"
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
Parallel with: The Heavy Weapons Guy

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Chib
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
Not what Ema had been expecting, not in the slightest. She figured by now, with 19 deaths yesterday and today practically over, her odds of running into someone she knew were about 1 in 250. She'd never even considered that, if there were anyone at the beach, they would be none other than Hayley Kelly. She hadn't expected her to be practically naked, either. Quite against her will, Ema's face began to flush red, difficult to notice in the gloom, but it probably wouldn't be in a minute or two.

"Ema...you're alive. I was...so worried..."

Wait, really? She'd been worrying about her? Ema wasn't sure whether that was hard to believe or not, weighing up the circumstances. Two days worth of murder and fear had been more than enough to purge Ema's own thoughts of much more than whatever was immediate - namely her own safety. But Hayley had clearly linked up with friends early, perhaps they'd had enough mutual safety to stay worried about those that weren't among them. Ema had not expected Hayley to be practically naked, either.

"Who's your friend?"

The second shape arrived, revealing himself to be a young man, shirtless, fairly tall, wearing glasses. Ema felt she should recognise him, but couldn't put a name to the face. She could, however, safely assume he was Hayley's latest vict--, no, boyfriend. "Come on, Ema," she told herself "Grow up, you're supposed to be over her. No bitchyness, even in your head."

So he was her boyfriend, and as to why they'd been together in the water, mostly undressed.. well that seemed like a no-brainer. It never occurred to Ema that Hayley had actually been washing off the blood of a recently deceased fellow student, those sorts of thoughts hadn't quite become the norm for her, not yet. She really hadn't expected to see Hayley practically naked. Her face was, by then, positively scarlet, in no small part due to the fuel Hayley and Kyle had provided her overactive imagination.

Ema tried to answer Kyle. Her throat had dried up again. Surprise surprise. Again, only a strained croak came out, sounding more like "Eurrk" than her name. She coughed, rubbing the front of her neck, hard enough that she momentarily choked herself for a split second, giving rise to even more embarrassing coughs and splutters. If her complexion could possibly have gotten any redder, it would have done then. She wasn't ready for this.

But eventually, finally, the words found their way past Ema's lips. "I'm Ema, we, err.. Hayley and I used to, uh... we used to date, last year, actually..." "Yeah, and in all that time, you never got this lucky, did you?" added the bitchy, smart-ass part of Ema's mind, the same she'd told to grow up minutes before. She wanted to shut it up again, but it did have a point this time around...
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
Parallel with: The Heavy Weapons Guy

The Past
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Chib
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
"Yeah, er, I thought you two had met? Uhm, Ema, this is Kyle...my boyfriend. Kyle, this is Ema, my best friend."

She thought they'd met? Unlikely. For all Ema could recall, the only times she'd even heard mention of Kyle was vicariously through Hayley, and decidedly vaguely at that. As if she didn't want anyone knowing who she was with... or rather, she didn't want someone knowing. Thinking about it, and factoring in just how awkward the situation was right then, Ema couldn't blame Hayley for trying (and succeeding until then) to keep her and Kyle apart. Deceptive, definately, but for the best? More than likely. Off the island, who knows how a meeting like this would have gone?

The other part that Ema picked up on was her own designated title. Not ex-girlfriend, as she'd established already, but best friend. Best friend? It had taken everything Madelyn had to get the two of them to be anything more than civil to one another, so now they were best friends? But, as with before, Ema began to understand. Kyle didn't know her, much better to let him go on not knowing the pair's less-than-pleasant history, and pretend they'd always been on the friendly terms they were currently. Either way, she was pleased by the promotion.

"So, like, I've been looking for you with Maddy this whole time! I got really fucking lucky...

Well this wasn't uncomfortable at all. Certainly not. The sheer awkwardness definately had nothing to do with Hayley non-stop monologueing, nor anything to do with Ema's absolute silence the whole time, despite the desire to speak up, many times.

...because I wanted to wash up. Can't be all gross just because people getting all stab-happy, right?"

Even Ema felt out of breath after that. It had certainly been one hell of a long sentence, probably longer than the sum of everything she'd said on the island herself, so far. Odd thing to come to mind, really. Regardless, in Hayley's haste, most of the information had gone right over Ema's head, amounting to a list of places and names that didn't mean much to her. The only thing that really registered was Madelyn's name, as, besides Hayley, Maddy was probably the only other person Ema considered trusting on faith alone. She almost asked where her other friend was, but quickly realised Hayley was hardly going to bring the whole group along to watch her washing. The other thing she almost asked was why it had been so important to wash off right away, without any clothes to change in to, but Ema decided against that as well. Maybe it was personal.

"So...yeah, we're all clean now. I figure we're all in desperate need of sleep, and here seems like a good place, so... Assuming you want to stay. Uhm...please stay? I...don't want to lose you again. We could take shifts, make sure we all get at least a little sleep. We're meeting up with Maddy and Alex and Charlene at the groundskeeper's hut in the morning. I left all my clothes there, so I can get some new ones..."

Broken up by uncomfortably silent pauses, but still comparably long, Ema waited until the end of Hayley's diatribe to offer "You could borrow some of mine until then... if you want, that is, I mean..." she stopped herself there, not wanting to go off on a tangent about sharing clothes, and simply ended with "...yeah." But wait... what had she been wearing before getting into the water? Surely putting dirty clothes back on was preferable to nothing at all, particularly at night? It didn't really make sense to Ema, but she reasoned to herself "Don't sweat it, you're tired, just sleep and think about this tomorrow. Probably a good reason for it.". Good old inner dialogue, so wise and helpful.

"If we do sleep here, I'll keep watch. I'm not tired."

Ema nodded. She hadn't gotten any decent sleep for over twenty four hours, and the mention of sleep had started tiredness washing over the girl's mind. Her eyes were already feeling heavy, rightly so, and she certainly wasn't about to argue with Kyle if he was offering her a longer rest.

"...I'm sorry about all this, by the way, I...wasn't exactly expecting company."

She nodded to that as well, shrugging her camping luggage off of her shoulder and into her hands. Walking off towards the patch of trees she'd arrived at - rather inviting with it's soft, loamy soil and shady canopy - she dug down to the bottom of the main compartment, producing a towel bearing the Irish flag (a slightly embarrassing gift from her parents that she'd actually grown rather proud of, over the years), and a soft black blanket. She offered both to Hayley, with a rather yawn-ridden "You might want those."
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
Parallel with: The Heavy Weapons Guy

The Past
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
"You brought your clothes with you...? Damn, girly, you must be exhausted. I left all my crap back at the hut, didn't want to carry around more than I had to..."

Exhausted? Might as well be an understatement. She'd rested her body just barely enough to stay upright for the day, and her mind was already starting to go blank for a few seconds at a time, dozing off to semi-sleep whenever it thought Ema wasn't doing anything important. Every few seconds, she'd snap 'awake', and remind herself she really needed some genuine sleep.

But something seemed wrong to Ema, just for a moment. She couldn't put her finger on it, but it just appeared to her that there was something Hayley and Kyle weren't telling her. It just felt too odd a set of coincidences to come together, but... no, maybe she was just paranoid. After all, she was on Survival of the Fittest, paranoia's the name of the game, but if she couldn't even trust the few friends she had, well, who could Ema trust? Maybe it was blind faith, or just mental exhaustion, but Ema decided to perish the thoughts from her mind. If it still seemed wrong tomorrow, maybe she'd be alert enough to think about it all properly. Then again, Hayley did look awfully uncomfortable, and not just because she was cold, wet and underdressed...

"I think I'm alright for now. Maybe in the morning?"

Apparently not underdressed enough, though. Oh well, saved Ema the trouble of rooting through her things again. Meanwhile, Hayley seemed considerably more incredulous about Kyle's proported lack of tiredness than she herself was, and quite understandably. By that point, Ema could quite easily have dropped where she stood. The last two days had really taken it out of her. In fact, that sounded rather inviting... she offered Hayley a towel to dry herself off with, and a blanket to keep her warm in lieu of being fully clothed... she shut her eyes, "Just for a second, I need to... rest them for... just a second...". That's what she told herself. Just for a second.

"A second" later, Kyle had already finished gathering his and Hayley's things and was in the process of bringing them over to their chosen camp site. He leaned against a large rock, alongside him a mean looking sword, glinting faintly in the starlight. Pretty, really, Ema had always had a thing for nicely designed swords.

"You can fit too, right? Come on, it's so comfortable. I can't even."

Again with the aimless trails of thought, not at all helped by her drowsy state of mind, Ema had completely forgotten about Hayley. She looked around, trying unsuccessfully not to look startled, to find her ex-girlfriend curled up atop the towel, wrapped up in that so-very-inviting blanket. Surely Kyle wouldn't mind, right? Not like Ema was dangerous competition for romance, a little oddball like herself. Besides, she was over Hayley by now, wasn't she? Totally... definately? Probably. What difference did it make anyway? It was just sharing a blanket, not like they were doing anything else. Hayley's state of undress totally wasn't a factor in it.

No, Ema definately wasn't thinking about the risqué matching bra and panties - nor the alluring body they contained - as she managed a rather weak "I guess...".

She certainly wasn't trying to forget what Hayley had done to her less than a year ago, as she shrugged off her hooded coat and let it fall haphazardly into the dirt.

There was absolutely no way she was wishing things had gone differently when she finally crawled up next to her friend, pulling the thin material tightly around herself.

Because she was totally over Hayley. No second thoughts about the relationship they used to have. No regrets about not taking it as far as she'd like to have. They were just two friends, sharing warmth on a cold night.

The last thing Ema heard before she dropped off, before her semi-conscious arm found it's way across Hayley's shoulder, was that same voice in her mind. It just wouldn't let her be.

"Who the fuck do you think you're kidding, eh?"
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
Parallel with: The Heavy Weapons Guy

The Past
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Chib
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
It didn't take Ema long to drift off. The last time she'd slept beside another person was over ten years ago, as a child. She'd had recurring nightmares, and could only get any restful sleep in her parents' arms. When she thought about it, and she often did, Ema often attributed her seeming inability to dream to those nights. Regardless, laying down next to someone bestowed an inexplicable comfort and sense of safety, letting the exhausted young girl skip her usual half-hour of laying awake, and skip straight to sleep.

With her subconscious in control, Ema's body didn't wait long before it began to shift, gradually moving closer to Hayley, gripping a little tighter with the one arm draped across the other girl. Whether she was merely moving closer to the nice-feeling source of heat, or if there was a less innocent, albeit non-conscious, motive, was anyone's guess.

---

Morning came too soon. Sapped of energy as she'd been, Ema could quite happily have slept until noon, perhaps later. It started with faint sunlight, colouring her eyelids enough to change the blackness Ema saw to a deep red shade of almost-translucent flesh. Half-awake, she fought it, turning her head back towards the darkness, trying in vain to stop herself from fully awakening.

It was hopeless, though, for the moment she realised where she'd accidentally put her face - almost pressed straight into Hayley's chest - she almost-instantly regained full consciousness, and resisted the urge to jerk away... because she didn't want to wake Hayley up, if she was still sleeping, not because she was enjoying it, of course. A few minutes passed like that, and although Ema knew she wouldn't be getting back to sleep, nor was doing so a good idea, she enjoyed the relaxation. The closest thing to a lie-in she'd likely ever get again, might as well savour it.

But all good things must come to an end. Through unseen speakers, a screech of feedback sounded, followed by a few moments of static. Hayley was roused, if she hadn't been awake already, and she got up. Ema rolled over onto her back, pushing the blanket off of her. Looking down at herself, she started to think about how disgusting her clothes had become from two days straight of hiking. The thoughts didn't get very far, as Danya began to speak.

"Do you kids know what makes Uncle Danya happy?..."

"Nope, but I guess I'm about to find out," Ema grumbled, sitting up. The loathsome man seemed awfully laid back, pleased with himself. Then again, he probably had good reason, since he actually enjoyed the 'fun' of his 'game'. Ema even did the air-quotes, in spite of not actually speaking her thoughts.

"Things like... fine cigars, roast dinners, quiet nights in with Mrs. Danya... those things make Uncle Danya happy. But what also makes Uncle Danya happy is when his beloved students are game for the competition."

Yup, an extended... metaphor? Not really a metaphor, but whatever. Extended innocent sounding part, followed by the predictable sadism. Game for the competition, Danya-speak for "Doing lots of murdering."

"Ladies and gentlemen of Bayview secondary school. You are making me a very happy man indeed. Not content with your fantastic showing across day one, you decided to not only match but exceed yourselves! The second day of our little competition saw twenty-one students bite the dust, buy the farm and shuffle off their mortal coils! Kids... my hat is off to you."

Predictable indeed. Either Ema was developing clairvoyance, or Danya was an easy man to read. He probably did it intentionally, Ema decided, as part of his TV personality. Wait... was she considering the mainstream-media implications of the announcement? Ema almost physically slapped herself, and started paying attention to what Danya was actually saying. Twenty one more students dead. Added to the nineteen from yesterday, that made a round forty. Forty more statistics that might have been Ema herself. As bad as it made her feel, she counted herself lucky she'd survived so far, not wanting to think about the fact that there was now an even greater proportion of people-that-would-kill-her to people-that-probably-wouldn't.

After that, came the names. At first, not unlike day one, none of them meant much to Ema, decidedly unsocial as she was. She paid attention at "Eva Lancaster", before realising that she was thinking of an "Eve", not an "Eva". Hayley looked uncomfortable. Kyle looked like he was bracing himself for something. Neither could bring themselves to look at her, it seemed.

"Are you guys..." she began, about to ask if something was wrong, if they knew something she didn't. Before she could even begin down the trail of thought as to what it could be, Danya again interrupted.

"Take a bow, Eve Walker-Luther, for your starring role in Sarah's creative masterpiece."

The sentence was broken off instantly, a breath catching in Ema's throat. Eve was dead? The one new person she'd met on the island that she'd felt safe around, the young mother with the weird mannerisms, dead? She'd only known Eve for a few hours, but the news hit Ema like a physical blow, the one sort-of-friend she'd gained had already been cruelly taken away, first by fleeing, now by death. Ema's mouth remained open, halfway through forming the O in "okay", whilst the rest of her face sank.

The next few names passed over her ears entirely unnoticed. Jaw still agape, expression still ashen, Ema only had time to consider the percieved spite in Eve's death. But something managed to penetrate the fugue, something far more soul-crushing. It was instantly recognisable as what Hayley and Kyle had been nervous about. What they hadn't been telling her.

"Eleventh to die was one Steve Barnes, who found out that Hayley Kelly losing her head meant him losing his."

Hayley Kelly. The same Hayley Kelly that Ema had just spent last evening with. The same she'd just slept alongside. The same she'd dated almost a year prior. The same she couldn't quite get over her crush on. The same that was sitting not ten feet away from Ema that very instant.

"Ha. Ha. Danya needs to learn that puns are the lowest form of humor..."

That was all she had to say for herself in response? A bitter, snide remark at Danya's sense of humour? Somehow, impossibly, Ema's face had sunk even further into it's expression of speechless horror, not at all helped by Hayley's remarks. She didn't even consider that there could be extenuating circumstances. That it could've been an accident, or in self defense. She didn't think for a moment that Hayley's conscience was thinking the exact same things as Ema herself was. There was room only for one thought. A loud, shouted one.

"You killed him!?"

That one lead to another. Quieter. Vulnerable sounding.

"Why didn't you tell me before?"

And one last one, just barely above a whisper.

"Why... why did I have to hear it from... him?"
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
Parallel with: The Heavy Weapons Guy

The Past
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Chib
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
For those few seconds after hearing Danya's words, with what followed being drowned out by her own thoughts, Ema found the entire situation wholly inconcieveable. Someone she thought she knew had killed a person. She didn't spare a thought for the circumstances, she merely took it at face value. Hayley had killed someone.

But, as always, Ema's mind worked fast. The weight of what she'd heard bore down on her, giving her pause for a few seconds, but as that passed, she began to contemplate at great speed. She didn't think she knew Hayley, she did know her. She wasn't a murderer, and wouldn't become one after less than two full days. That much was certain.

Not only that - and if she hadn't seen it for herself, Ema would never have believed it - but Hayley almost looked like the announcement had hit her harder than it had Ema herself. She already knew what was going to be said, she knew what she'd done, so to be so profoundly affected by it, Hayley was surely not proud of it.

"I wanted a night. One night. One more night of peace, one more night to pretend that we're not here, one more night where you wouldn't hate me and where the rest of our fucking school wouldn't be afraid of me and where I could pretend that everything was okay. And...and I knew you'd find out, and I knew I should tell you, but I didn't want you to leave, and I...I don't know."

It made sense. Hayley wasn't stupid, she knew well enough that Ema would find out what had happened, so the only reason not to reveal it herself was as she'd said; prolonging Ema's blissful ignorance. She didn't appreciate being kept in the dark, but as she thought about it, the small girl could at least understand why Hayley would want to. On the other hand, though...

"I don't know. I'm an idiot. I know I'm an idiot. I...I'd seen a body, and then he...Steve came out of nowhere, and I was so afraid he was going to hurt us, so I...attacked first. I didn't mean...I didn't want...I'm not playing."

Exactly as Ema had thought, if it was a mistake made in haste, how could anyone be sure something like it wouldn't happen again, with... were there any worse consequences than chopping an innocent man's head off?... well, with equally horrific consequences? Regardless, Ema was quite certain by then that her friend was speaking the truth, that she hadn't meant to kill Steve, that it had all been a big mistake. She was certain as well that her heart had been in the right place when she kept the information to herself. However, understanding and forgiveness aren't quite the same thing, nor is trust. Ema understood what had happened, and empathised, but she didn't quite forgive Hayley all the same. And knowing how dangerous she had the potential to be, the redhead wasn't sure she could trust her deadly ex either.

"If you want to leave now, I'll understand. Lies of omission are still lies, so I lied to you. I...that was stupid. I shouldn't have done that. If you leave, I...I'm glad I got to see you, at least. Glad I got to...spend one night with you."

Ema almost responded straight off, before she caught herself. She hadn't thought things through nearly enough to make a decision like this right away. And... was Hayley blushing? And there Ema had been so sure she was the only one thinking that way about spending the night together. In spite of herself, she caught herself wondering if Hayley still felt anything for her, if she herself wasn't the only one that wasn't "over it"... if there was some hope for more than just reconciliation...

"But I don't want to let you go, because if I hear your name on the announcements, I...won't be able to deal with it. I need to be there to make sure you're safe. I don't want to...end up alone."

"No, stop, this is hardly the time or the place." Ema told herself, forcing her attention away from wishful thoughts and back to the affairs of the real world. Hayley made a good point for both parties; her own sort-of-selfish desire for company and the safety of her friends, perfectly mirrored against Ema's desire to not die, and to not be alone in a frankly terrifying place. Trust, forgiveness and understanding aside, that primal reasoning was enough of a deal-closer. Hayley and Kyle were armed and dangerous, and they had her safety among their top priorities, she'd be foolish to turn them down.

"So...please stay. I promise, it's all the truth from here on in."

Not sure if she could believe in the promise, Ema nodded anyway, her mind had already been made up regardless of whether Hayley stuck to her word or not. "You can work on forgiving her later, just stay alive, alright?" she told herself, the harsher side of her conscience finally having something helpful to say. She put on a brave face, though the telltale signs of the horror and despair she'd felt moments before remained all too clear. She finally stood up from the makeshift bed, and made her response.

"Of course I'll stay with you, I mean, you're not planning on losing your head in my direction, right?" "Oh nice one, doofus, make a bad joke about murder..." / "Shut up, smart-ass inner me."

An awkward silence descended, only for a few seconds, but it seemed far longer than it truly was. Kyle had been silent the whole time... the possible romantic implications must have occurred to him as well, and he was hugging Hayley close to him. Ema had never planned on anything of the sort, scarecely dared to hope it were possible, but as much as she wanted to, she couldn't lie to herself and deny that the appeal existed. Keen to keep her mind on other things, she added, "Besides, what would I do with myself all alone? I think I'd rather stick with someone for better or worse, than just go all hermit-y."

"For fuck's sake woman, take this seriously." / "I'm trying to sound confident, shut up."
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
Parallel with: The Heavy Weapons Guy

The Past
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
As mornings go, the morning of her third day on the island was probably the most eventful one Ema Ryan had ever experiened. It wasn't every day you woke up next to your ex girlfriend, heard someone you'd just met was dead, and then heard that same ex had killed someone yesterday. But despite that all, she felt oddly optimistic.

Why? Why should anyone be optimistic when their odds of survival are theoretically about 250 to 1, and probably worse in practice? Because she felt she'd finally stopped making stupid mistakes and bad decisions. Ordinarily, Ema would most likely have chosen to go off alone, and probably would've died alone, achieving nothing. Now she felt she had a chance at something meaningful, if it were only a death achieving nothing, but at the side of someone she cared about, and who cared about her. Morbid thoughts, but at least this time they were positive ones. "Yeah, great time to have a social epiphany. Good luck with that." / "Feh, it's better than never, isn't it?"

For once, the sarcastic pessimist in Ema had nothing to say in response.

"Well. If that's settled...we've gotta get going. Groundkeeper's hut is open again, so that's where we're meeting Maddy and Alex and Charlene. I...I have less stuff than you, so I can help you carry it, if you want?"

Good point. In all her epiphanising... was that even a word? "No, stop going off on tangents, pay attention." In all her thinking, Ema had forgotten that there were things to do, people not to keep waiting, safety in numbers to achieve. The offer to share the weight of her stuff was an appealing one, so after putting her coat back on and grabbing her daypack, the redhead nodded, replying "Sure, I'd kinda like to keep my shoulders alive for another few days."

Whilst rolling up her towel and blanket, and weighing up the pros and cons of keeping them with her - pros won, comfortable sleeping trumps comfortable walking any day - Ema noticed Kyle hand Hayley some spare clothes of his. Another thing she'd forgotten, since by then it had become almost normal, seeing Hayley as she was, and Ema had completely forgotten her own offer to share clothes. Odd really, though, since the two girls were pretty much the same size and build, didn't make much sense for Kyle to offer as well. It never even occurred to Ema that practicality wasn't the reason behind it, but regardless, she didn't speak up about it.

With her personal bag packed away, left there for Hayley to carry, the Irish girl made a concerted effort to force her unruly hair to stay out of her eyes, and mused "So, uh... shall we?".
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
(Sorry for the delay, been busy all day today. But yeah.)

As soon as she saw Hayley start to eat, it dawned on Ema that she couldn't actually remember eating since before arriving on the island. Adrenaline and fear had kept her standing so far, but now that she was cognisant of her accidental fasting, her stomach literally growled for sustainance, audible at least to Ema, and quite likely to the other two.

"Ya'll should probably eat something too. Like, sleep is important, so is noms. Oh, and water. We can do that while we move, though, so...yeah,"

...water. Good point. That would explain the incessant dryness of her mouth and throat, and why she'd been doubly unable to speak most of the time. Drinking water; kind of important. With her body crying out for respite from the hunger and thirst it had been subjected to, Ema made haste in removing a loaf and bottle from her daypack, biting into the former without even bothering to tear a mouthful-sized piece off. It tasted decidedly bland, not quite stale, but close, though the Irish girl didn't care, and continued to devour, ravenously hungry from her lack of food over the last two days. Following that, she made short work of her water bottle's cap, stuffing the two-thirds that remained of her bread back into it's plastic container with one hand, whilst the other kept the bottle steady in her mouth. All in all, it was a rather... undignified display, but Ema emerged from it feeling considerably better, and didn't particularly care what the others thought of it just then.

"Why'd you decide to take all this with you, girly?"

It really hadn't occurred to Ema just how much was in her luggage, until she saw Hayley struggling with it. In all honesty, she was surprised. She'd never considered herself particularly strong, least of all in the upper body, but come to think of it, getting used to carrying so much crap around at school must've strengthened her shoulders quite a lot. Besides, it wasn't like there was that much crap in there, just a stash of snacks, a change of clothes for each day (despite most of them looking the same), toiletries, two towels, a blanket, three books... no, there really was that much crap in there, and that was just most of what Ema could remember. But, then again...

"You shouldn't need it. I probably should have brought a change of clothes with me but like...eh. I shouldn't bitch, sleep would have been mad uncomfortable if we didn't have your blanket and towel and shit. I should be thanking you."

Just what she'd been thinking, the energy spent carrying it all around had turned out to be at least partly worth it, and the comfort overnight had been a veritable godsend, replenishing Ema to "somewhat fatigued" status, where the morning before she'd been closer to "walking dead", barely able to keep on her feet by the time she'd reached the beach.

Whilst re-arranging her daypack so the part-loaf and half-empty bottle sat comfortably against her side, Ema was just vaguely aware that Hayley had noticed Kyle's offer of clothes, and from the sound of it, was similarly confused by the gesture as she herself had been, and likewise responded in a rather bemused manner. "I mean, I guess he's trying to look helpful," she mused inwardly, considering how last night must have looked from his perspective, "But I wasn't even trying to... and they're way too b--"

Bang.

What the? Gunfire?

...This early in the morning?

And it didn't even seem to be in their direction, even though Ema was pretty sure there was nobody else around for a good few kilometers. It didn't seem to make any sense, and the girl had no idea how to react. She looked over to Hayley and Kyle, both of whom seemed a lot more concerned. They'd seen more action than her, after all, maybe she should be worried too?

"Stay here. Both of you. Unless...unless you feel like you need to run, then run, I'll try to find you, okay? I'm gonna...gonna go see what happened. See if...anyone's hurt. I'll try to be back real quick, okay? Don't worry about me, honeybees, I'll be fine..."

"Hayley! H-hold on!"


Before her not-a-morning-person reflexes could allow Ema to respond, Hayley was off like a shot... heh, a shot, ironic choice of simile there, what with the...

"Stay nearby. I don't think we're being shot at, but we should be ready to hit the dirt, as it were."

"Jegus Ema, pay attention!"
her brain yelled, spurred by Kyle's advice and back in the actual situation. "Wait, I mean, Jesus... fuck, forget that, just focus already!" So focus she did, though she doubted it would be much use, unarmed and unprepared as she was. Sea green eyes scanned the treeline, hoping to catch some sight of whoever had pulled the trigger. Nothing. Time to wait and see... and hope.
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
Parallel with: The Heavy Weapons Guy

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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
"Stay back!"

Odd way to start off, since he was the one approaching in the first place. Approaching with a gun.

"I-I-I-I'll shoot! I-"

With a gun. Shit. "Stop thinking about it and do something about it!"

But he had a gun. Kyle only had a knife. She had nothing at all. Hayley was nowhere to be seen.

Divide and conquer, genius. If he actually meant to, that is.

"T-This isn't what it looks like... I swear, I swear..."

Apparently not. From horrified to terrified and now to hopeful, Ema's face gave away what she was thinking. Maybe James wasn't going to shoot them, maybe he was just scared and jumpy, and he didn't want to be surprise-attacked by them. Or maybe he was playing them all for fools - he'd lessened their numerical advantage already, and had the upper hand in terms of range and firepower. Shit. What do.

"Hey! Drop it! Drop the knife! I-I'm not joking! Don't just stand there! Drop the knife!"

More points in the "playing us" column, then, Ema's expression returned to one of fear. Having scared them suitably by aiming at the unarmed one, he'd shifted his attention to Kyle, and wanted to weaken them even more by having him drop his knife first. Cunning bastard. Ema's body didn't know what to do, it refused to move, as if rooted to the spot. Her mouth wouldn't open to speak her mind. She was literally petrified.

"Your whore girlfriend's gone and cut someone's head off! That bitch, s-she - You're - NO ONE'S not going to get me so easily! J-Just-"

Well that probably wasn't a good idea. Scared as Ema was, Kyle was certainly still mobile and still armed. He would not be best pleased to hear James talk about Hayley like that, either. If Hayley were around, she probably wouldn't either.

"YOU SHUT YOUR FUCKING MOUTH!"

Very pissed off, then. Movement returned to Ema's body enough for her to straighten up, and get a clearer look at both their attacker and her remaining companion. And Hayley, just a few metres behind them, looking... oddly pleased with herself.

"You're - NO ONE'S not going to get me so easily! J-Just-"

When the angry couple descended on James, Ema honestly couldn't decide just what his motivation had been, whether he'd really been trying to screw with their heads to ensure an easy kill, or if he'd just been scared and armed. It didn't much matter any more, with one blade sinking into his neck and another into his torso. It wasn't a pretty sight. It really wasn't.

But Ema stood transfixed, unable to pull her eyes from the gruesome spectacle before her.

What surprised her most, for the split second that it was happening, was how easily it happened. How little resistance a human body mustered in response to a blade.

It was not a pretty sight. In the seconds before doubling over and losing the bread she'd just minutes ago eaten, Ema managed a weak "What is it with you and heads?"
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
Ema was still doubled over when she recieved her reply, a rather shaken attempt at black humour. Stick with what works... it did make sense, to be honest. If it had worked before in a mad panic, surely it would be even more effective with a steady hand and strong motivation, logic indeed. But the cold logic behind it wasn't comforting, quite the opposite. Had Hayley really gotten used to this sort of thing after just two kills?

Just two? That was probably worse, that Ema could consider murdering two schoolchildren as "just two". She didn't even know who they were. The first had been Steve... something. The latest, she had no idea, and doubted they'd even met before. They were just two faceless statistics that had been obstacles in Hayley's way to surviving so far. Without even doing the deed herself, only seeing it once, Ema was already making excuses, justifying the violent deaths of two people, barely even adults, and it hadn't even been her that killed them.

"What the hell's wrong with me?"
"It was necessary, you'd do the same."
"No... I wouldn't... I'm not a killer..."
"You will be."


Shaking her head - which only managed to make her feel more ill - Ema desperately tried to silence the voice in her head. She refused to believe she was capable of killing people. She didn't want to now, and she never would. Survival is only an excuse if there's no other way, and even then, she'd be more likely to just run away.

"You're a coward. They're trying to help you, but you can't even help yourself."
"Shut up, I'm..."
"Strong? Give it up. You're weak and useless, and you don't deserve their protection.
"I can look after myself! I'm not weak, and I don't care what you..
I.. tell myself!"

"And you should take this."

Huh? In all her self-depreciative introspection, Ema had completely lost track of what was going on outside of her own head. Hayley had washed away most of the blood with James' water, and had already appropriated his gun. Not even thinking to point out that she could wash in the ocean again and keep the drinkable water, the redhead simply straightened up, and accepted the weapon with a rather faraway look to her eyes. She was still feeling rather light headed, and barely recognised just what it was, for the moment.

"I don't think I'm gonna need it anymore."

"Um, thanks.. I..." Ema began, tailing off as she realised what she was being given. She had no idea what to say. What do you say to someone that's just offered you the sword they used to behead someone right in front of you? Not much, apparently.

"See? You can't even have a conversation with a friend. You're a liability, just make it easy and kill yourself now."
No. Not those thoughts again. She wasn't ready to die, and she certainly wasn't about to off herself and make it that much easier for... who? Everyone else? Pretty selfish, but self-preservation justifies the means. She didn't want to make it easy on everyone else, she wanted to live.
"More like it. And now you have a sword to do that with."
"So I can fi-- defend, defend myself. And Hayley... and Kyle."
"There can't be three winners, stupid."
"I'll work that out later..."
"Atta girl."


So now she was armed. Ema had something she could fight with. As to how useful it would be in her hands, that was anyone's guess. She herself was content to dwell on the armed part. She had a fighting chance now. She didn't plan on wasting it.

"Can we wash up a little bit before we leave? I feel sullied and unusual."

Good point. There was still vomit clinging to Ema's hair and chin, and quite obviously, both Kyle and Hayley were still fairly bloodied. Cleaning themselves off would be a great idea.

"Yeah, good idea..."

She still sounded weak. Her voice hadn't settled yet, her throat still sore. But it belied something stronger underneath.

"Earn your happy ending."
"I'm not dead weight, and I won't waste this sword."
"Damn right you won't."


Falcata still in hand, she trudged down the sand towards the ocean to wash her face and hair, to rinse out two days and one morning's worth of grime. Her grip on the hilt was vicelike, whitening her knuckles. It symbolised her fighting chance, and she clung to it for dear life.

And attempted to steel herself for dealing grim death.
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
It shouldn't have taken Ema long to wash her face, but since her right hand refused to loosen it's grip on her new sword, kneeling at the edge of the water and doing everything with her left hand took a fair bit longer. Though, with Hayley and Kyle washing blood from their entire bodies, the added time was insignificant, and she easily had time to clean her face and rinse the sweat and grime from her hair as well.

As her two companions continued, Ema backpedalled a few steps, and - still clinging tightly to that falcata - cast her arms up into the air in a great stretch, coupled with a rather loud yawn. Adrenaline and fear had subsided, and Ema's desire to go back to bed had returned; she really wasn't a morning person. Then again, she didn't even know what time it was, her phone and iPod were her only means of timekeeping before the abduction, and both were missing when she awoke, clearly to eliminate any possiblity of communication, despite the island being a complete blank for mobile phone signals and WiFi networks.

Standing there, arms still reluctant to fall back into place, Ema lifted her head to look at the sun, estimating the time to be about nine, though she knew full well it could easily be an hour or two either side - her skills at telling time by the sun were barely-existent at best.

Having guessed the time, it suddenly dawned on her that she was almost staring directly at the sun. She'd been standing out in it for quite some time, but now that the mad rush of the morning's death was over, Ema noticed how unpleasant the bright rays were. She let her right arm down, and used her left - the right still stuck to the falcata's hilt in a death-grip - to pull the hood of her jacket up, shielding most of her face from the sunlight.

A few seconds passed in near-total silence. The only unnatural sounds in the air were those of Hayley and Kyle moving in the water. Unsurprisingly, Ema felt awkward. She wasn't good at standing still and waiting, never had been.

Another few seconds passed, and Ema caught herself staring. Not just at Hayley, but Kyle, too. What surprised her was that she wasn't staring in the way an ordinary person would at attractive people frolicing in the ocean... she was simply observing them, almost... studying? Regardless, she pulled her gaze away, realising how it might look, not to mention how it seemed to Ema herself.

The awkward silence held. Ema forced herself to break it. Her daypack was still slung over one shoulder, kept dry earlier by being hooked behind her back. She fished around blindly, still with just her left hand, and produced her map.

"So where do we go from here? Your stuff's at that hut, right?"
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
Parallel with: The Heavy Weapons Guy

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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
(This feels decidedly short, but... I'm not such a fan of 'filler' details, so what the heck.)

"Yeah, that's where we're supposed to go. Meet up with the others and everything,"

"Are we ready to go?"


Kyle seemed rather keen to get moving, and Ema couldn't blame him. Just as much as the killing had set her mind in motion deciding what to do with herself on the island, Ema was still feeling the effects of witnessing death for the first time; a second time for Kyle probably wasn't much easier, especially having taken part as he did.

And so, letting out a slight sigh, the redhead nodded. "As I'll ever be. I was planning to ditch some weight, but makes more sense to do that when we get there." She made her way back over to where the makeshift camp had been, and hefted her backpack onto the shoulder not supporting the daypack, having already forgotten Hayley's offer to carry it for her. Heavy as ever, Ema found herself slouching into the weight on her back, not that poor posture was much of a legitimate worry any more. The weight did, however, remind her of what Hayley had said the night before, in response to... oh yeah, spare clothes. "So, were you going to get dressed, or are you planning to distract enemies with your boobs?"

For some reason, Ema didn't feel nearly as awkward as she ordinarily would, talking like that. She didn't want to dwell on it, though. Not like conversational taboos are the first step on a sliding scale of inhibition-loss, right?

Right?

(Presumably the group'll be leaving, following this, so if either of you would mind saving me the trouble, feel free to GM Ema following.)
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
Parallel with: The Heavy Weapons Guy

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