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Not an Easy Out; Morning, Day 3
Topic Started: Oct 13 2010, 09:07 PM (3,669 Views)
Solomir
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Nanotech Engineer
[ *  *  *  * ]
((Peter Siu continued from Don't go breaking my heart...))

People were pointing guns at each other. Peter hadn't expected that to be the the type of scene he'd find when happening across more living people since he'd last left the mansion over a day ago. Well, more living people besides Eiko. Regardless of the fact that he didn't expect this turn of events, he was hardly surprised. Danya had been gracious enough to tell him that some people had less compulsions against using their weapons on others.

He remembered the first morning he had awoken to the roaring announcements. He wasn't supposed to be asleep when it happened. Sleep had crept up on him like a ninja sometime in the hours of darkness before the dawn, when he was supposed to be keeping watch. He hadn't been given much of an opportunity to kick himself up over it, because Danya was using his time on the microphone to hammer home the reality of the game that they were in.

Sure, Peter and Eiko had passed one or two bodies on their way around the island, but Peter had expected at least one person to succumb to playing. He'd watched Survival of the Fittest before; somebody always started playing early. Peter had done his best to clean up the bodies and put them in a more peaceful position. In a way, he had wished that he'd been given a shovel instead of a sword; these people deserved some respect. At least more than they'd been given.

Still, the sheer number of people dead and killers was somewhat an unsettling notion to Peter. He had recognized most of the names, though many he knew of moreso than knowing personally. He'd made a list in his head as Danya rattled off the names: a list of the dead but not forgotten. It was equally important to note who had played the part of the killer: Kris Hartmann, Reiko Ishida, Clio Gabriella, and last but not least, a bear. Peter didn't know what he would do if he met any of them. He wasn't going to attack a girl, and there sure as hell was nothing he could do against a bear.

Peter and Eiko hadn't strayed too far off through the woods away from the large mansion. They had reached the small hut that sat at the edge of the expansive green lawn, but something had convinced him to keep moving past to another destination. Eiko had been understandably against that idea, but Peter just had a gut feeling that going there would not end well. In the end, they had settled for a makeshift camp not too far from the small hut. Peter felt more at ease in the open air, and he had reasoned it wouldn't be too much more comfortable to try to sleep in the hut.

Danya had finished reciting his litany of death, and had gone on to make the other administrative announcements of the day. Danger Zones were not a new concept to Peter, but it was something totally different just seeing it on television and actually being steps away from a newly named Danger Zone. The Greens and the Groundskeeper's Hut. Those were close to their camp, and that meant that he wouldn't be able to go back to the mansion for his stuff if something bad happened today, since the Greens would basically surround the mansion.

Peter had watched as people bolted from the little hut he'd been watching for the night. Luke Templeton and... Clio Gabriella. Fuck. She wasn't heading in his direction, but it was scary to think he'd been that close to a killer. If he'd actually gone inside, he could've been another name that would be on the morning announcements. His and Eiko's names.

In any case, the best plan had been to keep moving around, while trying to stay away from the big marked locations on the map. They would be easy gathering places for people and it was likely that one of the killers would come to the same conclusion. The two spent much of the day trailblazing through the woods around the mountain that loomed over the trees. The sword he had been given had been decent for bushwhacking, although Peter used it sparingly so as to not dull the blade's edge. The traveling companions had shared choice bits of small talk throughout their travels, but Peter was not much of a conversationalist.

He had suspected that Eiko wasn't happy with his attempts to baby her along the trail, so at some point he stopped checking on her tiredness every fifteen minutes. Still, it was obvious that she wasn't familiar with long hikes, so he needed to slow his pace and take breaks more frequently than he'd have liked. Their trek around the island had been met with no signs of human life. Either the island was way bigger than he originally expected, or everyone really was just clustered up where the map indicated there had been a town.

Night had fallen and Peter once again set up a makeshift camp for him and Eiko. Most of his spare clothes went to padding out a bed and blanket for Eiko, while he resigned himself to the night's watch. Again, that didn't last long as two days of hiking hadn't done great things for his mental fatigue. He awoke sometime in the dead hours before dawn, far past the time anyone would consider making an attack. Either way, he was going to do his best to keep up the watch.

The morning announcements arrived with the breaking dawn. The list was again full of names he recognized. Peter had been taken aback by the mention of Will killing somebody, but he pushed it to the back of his mind. It was not up to him to judge his friends on whether or not they killed. Still, he was relieved to hear that no more of his friends had died. The list of the dead grew, and Peter once again found himself wishing that he'd known more about many of the fallen. He knew names and faces, but not very much about the actual person behind that name and face. It felt like its own sort of failure that he couldn't remember more.

The coming of a new day meant resuming the long walk around the island. Eiko was understandably against that plan. A city girl like her just wasn’t used to toughing it out in the woods for extended periods of time after all. Peter could hardly wait until it started raining; he could already imagine the complaining that would be brought in by the turn in weather. Still, he wasn’t going to make a big fuss about it, and in the end they decided to turn around to get back to the newly cleared Groundskeeper’s Hut. It would be closer to the Mansion and if they got there quickly enough, they could stake it out for themselves.

So here he was, back at the tall green grass. Back to where he started on this island.

Flat grassy plains were not Peter’s ideal for terrain to be associated in. There was little cover, and it lacked the trees to block the glaring heat of the sun or the gusts of wind that swept across the flats. There really was little benefit to staying out here. Unless they were suntanning or something totally retarded like that.

Evidently, other people hadn’t come to the same conclusion as he did. Stepping out of the treeline onto the green grass, Peter caught sight of two people off to his side. One was hovering near the edge of the plains and appeared to be conversing with the other, who was standing quite a ways farther in the open.

“Lemme go take a look. You should stay back.” Peter held up his hand in somewhat of a stopping gesture. If things got hairy, it wouldn’t do to have Eiko hanging too close with him. “I don’t think there’ll be trouble, but best to be safe.” He wasn’t sure at all if Eiko would accept a reason like that, but now wasn’t the time to debate.

He hunched over and slowly crept toward the two, hoping that they were more preoccupied with each other to notice his approach. Peter had a knack for sneaking up on people back at school, mainly because he was the kind of person that didn’t really attract attention. With any luck, he would be able to pull it off here on the island. As long as they didn’t get jumpy about people sneaking around.

Ericka Bradley and Lucas Lupradio. Once he had closed the gap, he could make out their faces in the daylight. Peter couldn’t say that he was close to either of them, and neither were the people he’d hear much about on the school rumor mills. What he did know was that Ericka had been named just this morning as having killed someone. Of course, the way that Danya had framed it made it sound like she had done it out of self defense as opposed to malice.

That, of course, didn’t explain why she was pointing a gun at Lucas. Or vice versa. Lucas had made a show of pointing his gun at the girl first, but the only motion past that was Ericka returning the favor after a few moments of talking. Peter was still too far away to hear what she had said, just catching her last few words as she raised her gun. Peter needed to do something fast before someone actually got trigger happy. He shot a look over his shoulder to make sure Eiko wasn’t following too closely; she’d be in danger if bullets started flying.

“Shouldn’t you two be a bit more careful about where you’re pointing those things?” Peter tried to keep a reasonable but dry tone as he rose from his position in the tall grass about ten feet behind Lucas. His sword, still sheathed, was loosely held in his off hand while he made a salute-like greeting. “Now, if you ask me, it seems like nobody here really wants to be shooting anyone. I mean, you already had plenty of time to do it.” Peter punctuated the comment with a shrug. It made little sense to try to talk someone down in a game like this if you had a gun after all. “So let’s have everyone chill out and put them guns down.”

Peter put his hand on the sword’s hilt and stepped forward toward Lucas. “Lucas, you first. You started this.” Peter had tried to practice drawing and resheathing the sword the previous night, but it wasn’t a skill that could be learned that quickly. If Lucas decided to use the gun, Peter would have maybe half a second to do something. He’d probably dodge to the side when Lucas swung his arm around, giving him more room to circle close to knock him down. Ericka was too far away to do anything about if she decided to fire; there was a lot more distance to cover to reach her.

Peter didn’t want anything bad to happen, but he needed to be ready. This was Survival of the Fittest after all.
V5


B036: Benjamin Ward: "Sh-shut the fuck up. Or I'll k-kick your ass."
B047: Marcus Leung: "Let's start by staying calm."


V4

Rest in peace

B004 - Peter Siu: "We're all fuck-ups."
G006 - Tiffany Baker: "Will you stay with me, until I wake up?"
G027 - Marybeth Witherspoon: "The cameras are pointing here, not there."
B115 - Tony Russo: "I'm sorry...."
G087 - Rachel Gettys: "I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell."
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Solomir
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Nanotech Engineer
[ *  *  *  * ]
Everybody always made things more complicated than they had to be. Why did they do that?
Because they're illogical idiots. This isn't news.
"I think you're the one not paying attention. I told you to put the gun down." His voice took on the consistency of cold metal, and every muscle in Peter's body tensed in anticipation of attack. There were hundreds of things that could signal an aggressive action. He had to be ready for every single one of them. "She could've shot you earlier. She didn't. Were you even listening to Danya this morning? She got attacked first." Peter shook his head in exasperation; it was normal for people to only hear the things they wanted to hear, but this was just getting absurd.
Because self-delusion isn't a valuable skill to have. I'm sure I'd know.
Peter released his grip on the sword hilt. A step forward, not too far, just to close the gap between them. With his right hand, he pointed up at Lucas. "You're not a killer. Fact of the matter is, none of us want to be killers." His hand shifted over, indicating the girl standing by the trees. "She didn't want to kill. She just didn't want to die." The pointer finger moved back to Lucas, maintaining its stance of mock authority. "Put the gun down, and nobody will get hurt."
He won't. This is an inevitability.
Peter fixed his gaze on Lucas, taking note of any slight movements that would betray his intentions. Quick reactions were the key to getting the upper hand if it ever came down to it. "I'm not going to say it again."
Remember the first rule of gun kata: do not be where the gun is pointing.
V5


B036: Benjamin Ward: "Sh-shut the fuck up. Or I'll k-kick your ass."
B047: Marcus Leung: "Let's start by staying calm."


V4

Rest in peace

B004 - Peter Siu: "We're all fuck-ups."
G006 - Tiffany Baker: "Will you stay with me, until I wake up?"
G027 - Marybeth Witherspoon: "The cameras are pointing here, not there."
B115 - Tony Russo: "I'm sorry...."
G087 - Rachel Gettys: "I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell."
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Solomir
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Nanotech Engineer
[ *  *  *  * ]
Lucas finally put the gun down. Crisis averted. Of course, he had to be all agonizingly slow and long-winded about it; not to mention that he clearly seemed reluctant to go through with it. Possibly worrying, but the most important thing was that people were no longer pointing guns at each other. Well, one side wasn't pointing guns. Ericka appeared to be backing up towards a big tree. Probably getting ready to bolt, since the danger had subsided.
Alternately, finding cover to hide behind while shooting. Can't rule out all possibilities.
Peter relaxed slightly. Now that Lucas had put his gun down, he could actually go back to his normal routine of not actually having to focus on one thing. It was more efficient to be taking in as much information from everything around him. A glance thrown over his shoulder informed him that Eiko had followed him a lot more closely than he'd have preferred. Not much of an issue now, but it could've been dangerous if things had actually gone the other way.

The grass danced their slow dance as a breeze rippled across the field. Peter heard voices again, but nobody else was visible in the vicinity. It took a moment to determine who was talking. Ericka was standing, right up against the large tree, and apparently laying down some observations about Lucas. Peter knew she was right about him not being trustworthy; a sword wasn't nearly as threatening as a gun, but that didn't mean he couldn't be dangerous.
Even Rick Holeman the marine lost using a gun against a fighter. Odds aren't exactly nil.
But she went on talking. About how trusting others wasn't the smartest plan. About how not every killer was instantly violent. And about how there was a lesson Danya was trying to teach them.
Well, turns out she was a psycho after all. Can't be right all the time after all.
No way. No fucking way.
Yes way. Contingency plans ahoy.
The words clicked together; their meaning was clear. It took only a fraction of a moment to put it all together. Too quick. Not quick enough. Another fraction for the thoughts to fully process, to determine a countermeasure. Again too quick. But also not quick enough.
No sense thinking about what would be the right reaction. Just react.
"Get the fuck down!" Peter yelled as he launched himself forward. The loud bark of gunfire drowned out his last word. It sounded different, louder and less resonant, than how he'd imagined it. He had meant to direct his to Eiko, but saying her name would've taken valuable split seconds. He should've been ready. He had been ready: adrenaline had built up over the encounter and it had allowed for an explosive burst of energy to carry him forward in an unpracticed tackle.

He shouldn't have been ready. Adrenaline or no, it felt wrong.
React first. Think later. Lives hang in the balance. That includes my own.
That didn't matter. What mattered was making sure Lucas wasn't going to end up riddled in bullet holes. Because if he did, it would all be Peter's fault. All his fault that someone died and someone became a killer. A real killer. Peter didn't want in any part of that, but that wouldn't be his choice.

God, dead end scenarios sucked.
V5


B036: Benjamin Ward: "Sh-shut the fuck up. Or I'll k-kick your ass."
B047: Marcus Leung: "Let's start by staying calm."


V4

Rest in peace

B004 - Peter Siu: "We're all fuck-ups."
G006 - Tiffany Baker: "Will you stay with me, until I wake up?"
G027 - Marybeth Witherspoon: "The cameras are pointing here, not there."
B115 - Tony Russo: "I'm sorry...."
G087 - Rachel Gettys: "I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell."
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Solomir
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Nanotech Engineer
[ *  *  *  * ]
The impact was dull and unfamiliar. Peter hadn't hit anyone in a long time. He wished he could say "never" but that was likely a monumental lie. Still, hitting somebody with a running tackle had not been on the list of things he'd ever done before. The hit had sent them both to the ground, spinning and rolling from the odd angle they had hit each other. Peter could almost hear the whistle of bullets pass over head as they tumbled.
Should've practiced doing things like tackling people out of gunfire like they taught in gym class. Football. Whatever.
Peter could hear the gunfire still ringing through the air after they had hit the ground. Why? He and Lucas were out of line of sight. Not shootable. Nobody else to shoot at. Nobody except maybe-
Eiko.
Eiko.
I hope she ducked out of cover like I said. It's the best I can do against a gun.
He rolled and propped himself up on his arms so he could look around without putting himself up as a target. Nobody in sight. Gunfire still ringing. Things didn't add up. Why? There were some pieces missing. Maybe Eiko had already gotten hit. Didn't explain the continued gunfire. Maybe Ericka had just gone totally off the wall and unloaded her whole magazine at them. Too many shots. How many? Eight? Ten? Peter hadn't been keeping track, and trying to bring back the auditory memory of the last ten seconds just resulted in an echoing series of bangs.
Ringing in my ears. Disregard it. It's not real.
Wait. There was another burst of gunfire that had sounded different. Closer. Not just in proximity, but also in frequency. A different gun was being used. There was only one other person with a gun around here. A quick scan of the field found him. Lucas standing amidst the tall grass.
Not standing. He's taller than that. Probably crouching.
Gun aimed at the treeline. Presumably the gunfire had been him returning fire.
He shouldn't be shooting back. People will get hurt, and become killers.
It only took a moment to gather his breath before pushing up to his feet, but to Peter, it felt like minutes. Maybe that still wasn't particularly long, but at a time where the seconds mattered, it felt long enough. His sword had fallen from his grip in the tumble, but hadn't fallen too far away; his hand found the hilt and brought the weapon to his side. The sheath lay forgotten. It was a time where diplomacy had failed. The sheath would protect the sword, but not the wielder nor his charge.
Diplomacy hasn't failed. This can still be salvaged. Put the sword down.
Peter stormed over to Lucas' position. It only took two long steps, but even before he had managed to cover that distance, Lucas had turned and shot again. Peter froze in his tracks. Instinct howled at him to check to make sure he hadn't been hit. Not that there was any burning pain. Lucas hadn't shot at him. The angle was wide and wouldn't have hit Peter even if he was fatter than several cows put together. What the hell had he been shooting at?
Think clearly. What did he say right before he shot?
Lucas had said something before shooting. Peter had heard it, but the words hadn't been given meaning. Until now."Behind..."
Eiko.
There wasn't any need to put this puzzle together. It had fallen into place from the start. Lucas had never been a good guy. Pointing a gun at Ericka; then, resisting Peter's attempts at defusing it peacefully. Peter might have chalked it up to nerves, pressure, and paranoia. This was over the line. Nobody attacked Eiko. Not on his watch. "Fucking bastard!" Peter snarled. "Watch where you aim that thing."
Uh... maybe this is all just a huge misunderstanding. Jumping to conclusions could be bad.
Swordfighting wasn't something Peter had practiced before either; then again, how hard could a sword be to use? Apply bladed edge to opponents. Sure there were other things too, but that required the other party to have an equally effective melee weapon. Guns didn't fall in that category. The bladed edge was applied to the at the limbs held between the two fighters; the aim was to disarm him of the gun. The angle of the cut was awkward; not a lot of space in between. A reverse grip served the motion better, but it made applying force harder. He wasn't cutting off any hands with the attack, but it still pushed the arms out of the way.
Back up. Violence isn't necessarily the only way.
Nothing stood in between the two. Peter's stance with the sword wasn't proper for any sort of follow-up slash. Maybe there was more to swordfighting. No matter. Peter's right leg snapped out, aimed at Lucas' shoulder. Once Lucas was on the ground, he'd be on the defensive. Peter had never been good at okizeme, but he had learned the fundamentals. Once he had the upper hand, the match would be his.
Anyone knows that when someone starts comparing real life to a game, things have gone a bit too far.
V5


B036: Benjamin Ward: "Sh-shut the fuck up. Or I'll k-kick your ass."
B047: Marcus Leung: "Let's start by staying calm."


V4

Rest in peace

B004 - Peter Siu: "We're all fuck-ups."
G006 - Tiffany Baker: "Will you stay with me, until I wake up?"
G027 - Marybeth Witherspoon: "The cameras are pointing here, not there."
B115 - Tony Russo: "I'm sorry...."
G087 - Rachel Gettys: "I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell."
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Solomir
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Nanotech Engineer
[ *  *  *  * ]
Another unfamiliar feeling of impact. Lack of muscle memory could be annoying. The kick had missed its mark; the distance between the two hadn't allowed for him to hit high enough. Still, it did the job, and Lucas hit the ground. Peter drew himself up, doing his best to maintain an assertive stance, and stepped forward so that he was right on top of Lucas. The gun had fallen from his hand and had bounced several feet away; Peter would take care of that later.

"I told you to put the gun down," Peter said, letting the adrenaline do the work of hardening his voice. "I don't know why I'm repeating it again; even after I told you I wasn't repeating it." His eyes flitted up to the treeline, but Ericka still had not reappeared. Perhaps she had already run off. That would make things simpler. "And because you were stupid enough to not listen the first time- hell you were stupid enough to be pointing guns around in the first place, everything went to hell and people started shooting. This is all your fault."
Not just his fault. My fault. Ericka's fault. Everybody's fault.
A frown of disapproval crept across Peter's face. "I might have given you the benefit of the doubt. You've got a lot of reason to be jumpy. You had plenty of reason to shoot back at Ericka; not that it clears you of responsibility. That's all fine and dandy." Peter couldn't really describe the tone his voice was taking anymore. It was primal, authoritative, and a whole lot of angry emotion, but that was only scratching the surface. "But you crossed the line when you fired at Eiko: an unarmed innocent girl that had nothing to do with this. You're a fucking murdering scumbag."
That doesn't mean I have to drop to that level.
Peter moved his arm, the blade moving with it. From his analysis the day before, he could tell that the sword was not made for stabbing. The curved shape and the design of the grip had clearly marked the sword as a slashing weapon. If he was going to get any mileage out of it, there were only a few places he could hit. He placed the tip on the dirt next to the targeted area, and then rotated his grip back to a normal one. The edge was probably sharp enough to cut where he needed, but having the extra strength a normal grip afforded gave him some leeway.

Something caught Peter's eye; something he should have seen earlier: the large red stain on Lucas' shirt. Momentary confusion gave way to clarity. Peter didn't need to do anything; Lucas would die from the gunshot in a few hours regardless. Peter could walk away and not have to worry about this. That would be an easy solution.
Don't be a coward. Finish the fucking job.
Except it wasn't easy. If he ran, then Ericka would get credited with the kill. That wasn't right; she hadn't meant to be a killer. This was all a huge clusterfuck of miscommunication that had started with Lucas. Ericka was not a murderer, and Peter wasn't going to let her get branded with that title. But that didn't even matter; Lucas had shot at Eiko. He was going to protect Eiko, and he wasn't going to be able to do that if he couldn't handle a murderer. Maybe this time it was easy to get off without having to do anything, but on a long enough timeline, the probability of needing to kill would approach 1. Peter needed to prove that he could protect Eiko. Running away now would prove nothing.
Well, it would prove that I'm a coward. And useless dead weight. But we can't have that now can we.
Also, there was something innately cruel about leaving somebody to bleed out slowly from a stomach wound.
Murder is crueler. I don't need to do this. Except I do.
The resolve had faded with the realization, but he had to play it through. Not just because of Ericka's suggestion, but because it was what had to be done. "You know what I'm going to do to mudering scumbags?" Peter did his best to maintain the tone he had used before. He could only hope that he could keep up the illusion. Lucas' eyes, though darkened, reflected something incomprehensible up at Peter; he could only guess at what was meant to be communicated through their gaze. "I'm going to make sure none of them get off this island."
By becoming a murderer myself. The hypocrisy is clear. Not that there's a better option.
There was a moment of hesitation. Parts of him screamed out how wrong his intentions were, rebuffed by by the parts that saw the necessity. Right and wrong... now was not the time to be musing about those matters.
What better time? Why sit around and make hypothetical situations when what matters is reality?
Peter jerked his arm, raking the sharp edge of his sword across the tender skin and flesh of Lucas' neck. Carotid artery, jugular vein, trachea, and anything else of note in the area met and parted under it. It was the best way of using a bladed slashing weapon. Fast. Simple. Effective.
V5


B036: Benjamin Ward: "Sh-shut the fuck up. Or I'll k-kick your ass."
B047: Marcus Leung: "Let's start by staying calm."


V4

Rest in peace

B004 - Peter Siu: "We're all fuck-ups."
G006 - Tiffany Baker: "Will you stay with me, until I wake up?"
G027 - Marybeth Witherspoon: "The cameras are pointing here, not there."
B115 - Tony Russo: "I'm sorry...."
G087 - Rachel Gettys: "I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell."
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Solomir
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Nanotech Engineer
[ *  *  *  * ]
Why is there so much blood?
Clearly, "clean" hadn't been on the list of things that could be used to describe a slit throat. Blood was already pooling under the head and neck, a vibrant mix of the red oxygenated blood gushing out the carotid artery and darker deoxygenated blood leaking from the jugular vein, as well as everything in between from all the other tissues that had been cut open. Blood spurt from the carotid in time with the dull rhythm of a fading heartbeat, the blood jetting up about a foot and staining the blade of Peter's sword and his jeans.
Gross. Bloodstains are a pain to clean out.
Peter looked down at Lucas' face, contorted in a tableau of unimaginable pain. His eyes were still open, and whatever life that had remained was fading out. There was no peace reflected in those eyes, that much Peter could understand. He lifted his eyes from the bloody carnage under him. Teenagers weren't meant to see these things, to see pain and gore and death like this. Exposed neck muscles, the remains of a windpipe, it was all too much. If he looked down to survey the damage again, there was a chance he'd lose the little bit of bread he'd had for breakfast. Instead, he stepped away from the body, and growing pool of blood creeping out from beneath it.
That's definitely a lot of blood.
The body beneath him jerked.

"Holy fuck!" Peter yelled as he jumped back another foot, and almost fell flat on his ass. He should've seen it coming; he'd read about this exact thing happening before. Still, even knowing that Lucas was definitely dead, the sudden motion had managed to fire his adrenaline-pumped reflexes.
Okay. I should not be freaking out over something stupid like this
Peter gave a low chuckle, that built up to a roar of laughter. It was in no way appropriate: he had just killed somebody. Still, the incredulity of the situation was plenty effective at eliciting laughs from him. Of all the things to get spooked by, it was by something as harmless as a dead body. It was utterly ridiculous. If it had been zombies or a bear, at least it would have made sense.
Zombies make sense? That's news.
It took a moment for Peter to collect himself from. Laughing like that after killing someone probably didn't look good to Eiko, and it definitely didn't look good for those people watching on the cameras. Well, there were some sick freaks that liked seeing the psycho killers, Danya's crew notwithstanding. Peter used to watch Survival of the Fittest for the detailed gore and realistic action, at least until he figured just how real everything was. He had an idea what might have gone through the heads of those killers. He wasn't going to be like them.

With a grunt, he pushed himself up onto his feet. Eiko had taken to screaming off at something in the distance, but she at least appeared fine. No blood meant that there was no gunshot wound. He had done his part in protecting her. That was what mattered; not that he had slit someone's throat in order to do it. Nothing good would come out of dwelling on that fact.

Peter might be a killer. He wasn't a cold-blooded murderer.
Blatant lies. He was on the train to dying in the next few hours anyway.
Lucas' body lay still, most of the blood drained from the body. There wasn't much Peter could do for the body; he had no shovel to dig a grave. Still, there had to be something he could do. Dropping the sword to the grass, Peter walked up to the corpse. It was still horrific to look at. Peter could feel the bile rising to the back of his throat. He fought it back; he needed to be strong.

If he didn't think of it as a corpse, that it hadn't been a living-

Peter pushed the idea from his mind. That would not be treating it with respect. That much Lucas deserved. His hand went to the wooden cross he wore on his neck. His finger traced along the face of the cross, a prayer forming in his mind. He gave it no voice: prayer wasn't something to be heard. Peter crouched down by Lucas' body and traced the same shape of the cross on Lucas' forehead. Lucas' lifeless eyes stared back at him. Had there been something in those eyes before the light had faded from them? Had Lucas, in his dying moment, cursed his killer?
Had he forgiven his killer?
If it mattered, Peter didn't care. With a light push of his hand, he closed the dead boy's eyes forever.

Lucas' daypack was still on his back, now soaked through with blood. Peter wasn't going to disturb the body to try to scavenge supplies. Nor was he going to try to retrieve the polearm that had been strapped to the daypack. Peter remembered the gun, fallen away in the struggle. Going to where he remembered it falling, Peter picked it up and looked at it. It was lighter than he had expected it to be, which was quickly explained when he checked its empty magazine. If there were any extra magazines, they'd be in Lucas' pack. Peter looked over at the body again. He had no plans of going through that pack, regardless of what useful things could be in there. Did it matter? Peter didn't even know if he could hit anything with a gun. The only thing he would use it for would be to discourage people from attacking, and he didn't need bullets for that.

Still, bullets could be useful.
That's the spirit! Bullets have lots of uses besides killing people.
Peter looked at the body one more time. Why had he killed Lucas? Now that he thought about it, whatever reason he'd had didn't made no sense. Lucas was already going to die. There hadn't been any good reason for killing him. Just because he had shot at Eiko. Peter hadn't needed to react violently, but he did. Why? The more he tried to think about it, the more he came to the same conclusion: Lucas was dead, at Peter's hand. There was nothing he could do to change that fact.

"Let's go, Eiko," he said to his travel companion. What did she think about him now? Would she even stay with him, a killer? "Let's just... get away from here." Peter picked up his sword and strapped it and the new gun to the side of his backpack, then fished out a small metallic bottle, which he tucked into his pocket.

He needed a fucking drink.

((Peter Siu continued March to Your Death))
V5


B036: Benjamin Ward: "Sh-shut the fuck up. Or I'll k-kick your ass."
B047: Marcus Leung: "Let's start by staying calm."


V4

Rest in peace

B004 - Peter Siu: "We're all fuck-ups."
G006 - Tiffany Baker: "Will you stay with me, until I wake up?"
G027 - Marybeth Witherspoon: "The cameras are pointing here, not there."
B115 - Tony Russo: "I'm sorry...."
G087 - Rachel Gettys: "I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell."
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