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Late Dawns and Early Sunsets; [Late Day 3, OPEN]
Topic Started: Nov 6 2010, 12:05 AM (3,588 Views)
MurderWeasel
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((Isaiah Garvey continued from Milk of Human Kindness))

The day had come and gone. Isaiah had not found his quarry.

Of course, the terrain had not helped, not in the slightest. From the beach, he had found himself in this boneyard of trees, picking his way over branches, scrambling over loose dirt, always watching for the guy from before. He just wanted to make sure the boy was alright. Or, failing that, wanted to see his body, wanted to bury him, too. It was the least Isaiah could do for someone loyal even to a dead friend.

Unfortunately, his search faced several challenges. To start with, he didn't know the guy's name. This meant that the announcements would be completely useless for determining whether or not he was still alive. Really, though, it was not the most important thing. Whether he succeeded or failed in this search, he would soon enough find something else to do. Of this, he was entirely certain.

He had, in the process, managed to at least refill his water bottles at a stream. He'd also drunk as much as he could there, hoping to delay a need to restock again for as long as possible. The stream was probably contaminated with tropical parasites or other awful things, but he was pretty sure that they wouldn't be able to take hold before the end of this experience, in whatever form it came. Besides, what would a tapeworm live off of? It wasn't like he had much to eat.

The wandering had given Isaiah a lot of time to think, to reflect on the course of events. He had tried to figure out a better strategy, tried to come up with an ingenious plan for escape or a way to eke out a moral victory. Finally, though, he had concluded that both things were impossible. People had already killed. That meant there would be more killings. There was no forcing that genie back into the bottle. Sure, it was possible that the final dozen or so would resist, would die together as a statement of solidarity, but at that point, things would be so far along that playing would actually be a viable strategy. It would require a very strong group to throw the game back in Danya's face so close to the end.

And escape? How? Danya would blow anyone's collar if they hit on a tenable plan. Even if, by some miracle, they did disable them, they would be stuck on an island in the middle of nowhere. The terrorists could gun them down, bomb them, or starve them out.

So, that left him with the same option he'd first been drawn to. He would live, and he would do his best to do the right thing, and he would stay true to himself and his faith. He would help others as best he could, and Lord knew they needed help. And then, in the end...

He wanted to face death without fear. That was proving somewhat more difficult than he'd imagined, though.

Pulling himself over another log, Isaiah found himself looking over a monotonous sea of the same terrain. It was broken only by a few features. Of these, the one that caught his attention was two shapes in the dark. Either they were people, or they were very tall stumps, trees broken off far above all the others around them.

It bore investigation, whether it was the boy he sought or not. Isaiah started moving in their direction, not making any real attempt at stealth, but not loudly announcing his presence, either. If it was someone looking for trouble, he would slip away. If it was somebody friendly, perhaps he would be able to stop with them for a while.
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Juliette Sargent
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MurderWeasel
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Alright. It was people. Two of them, a girl and a boy. They'd called out to him, not opened fire, not acted aggressively in the slightest. More than that, they had identified themselves. Jasper and Carly. They were, at least for now, friendly. Isaiah released his breath, and his posture eased, tension he hadn't even noticed flowing from him. Sure, he had no idea who these two were (though, for some reason, he had this idea that Jasper was a weird guy), but decent civility was enough to recommend them for the moment.

Then they called out to someone else, causing Isaiah to start. He hadn't been very aware if he'd missed another newcomer, had he? That wasn't good. Maybe staying up all night digging a grave hadn't been such a hot move, at least from the perspective of survival. It had been the right thing to do, though, and hey, he hadn't been killed yet. This other guy wasn't coming in shooting either, so maybe they'd be able to have a nice time together, make friends, share a few moments before heading off to their fates.

Isaiah was not looking for long term allies, at least, not any who did not share his mission. Given that it was quite nebulously defined, he wasn't really counting on finding anyone. It would be lonely, but so it goes sometimes.

"I'm Isaiah," he called out. "Isaiah Garvey. I'm not looking for any trouble. A little rest sounds great right about now."

Isaiah did not abandon all pretense of caution, with the other person still an unknown quantity, but he made his way towards the others as casually as he could. He felt oddly blessed by his run of luck so far. As soon as he had overcome his fear, had destroyed his self-deception, he had run into nothing but nice, helpful people. Maybe it had just been a big mistake back at the tower. Maybe his own hostility had provoked JJ and the fat guy—realization hit Isaiah hard. It had been lurking in the back of his mind for some time, just beneath the surface, but the boy on the beach, the one Andrew had buried, with the screwed up head, he'd been the guy from the tower. He'd been one of the ones causing trouble, and now he was gone, just like that.

It was proved, then. Aggression was morally wrong, and would not go unpunished. Those who lived by the gun fell to bullets. Not that that made him feel any better about not having recognized the poor guy. No matter what crimes he had been guilty of, he hadn't deserved such "justice" as this. No one deserved to die.

So why?

Time for that later. Isaiah was close enough to smile and give a little wave to the other two, while glancing around, looking for the other guy. Maybe they could get a little bit of genuine camping done after all.
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MurderWeasel
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Everything flew to pieces faster than Isaiah had seen before. So little trust, so little empathy. The boy was Jimmy Brennan. Someone Isaiah had heard of in school, never in a flattering light. Jimmy Brennan was supposed to be a whiner or a poser or something. Supposed to be a phenomenal pain. That really didn't seem to merit attacking him out of hand, though. Of course, if what Carly said was true, if Jimmy had attacked her earlier, maybe that changed the situation some.

Maybe it didn't.

It wasn't like Jimmy's name had been blazing across the announcements for days. It wasn't like he had a killing streak and a Best Kill Award behind him. He was just a boy, a scared boy who'd been kicked in the crotch, and Isaiah simply could not take him seriously as a threat.

Carly was moving on. So was Jasper, following her, apologizing for running off. Isaiah nodded at him, said, "Good luck." No real time for anything else. Then they were gone, leaving Isaiah alone with the small boy. He wasn't sure what to do, exactly. Would Jimmy be mad at him, since he'd been talking to the others? Would he really be an insane psychopath, immediately reacting with violence? Would he just be a constantly-annoying buffoon, a curse to deal with, a divine test of patience?

Only one way to find out, the way that Isaiah had to take. The compassionate way.

He walked over to Jimmy, and lowered his hand, in case the boy needed help.

Then he said, "Hey, man, you alright?"
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MurderWeasel
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Jimmy Brennan was not okay.

He was also a foul-mouthed little prick. Isaiah had been prepared for this possibility. It did not make his situation any more pleasant. The rant, the swearing, it got on his nerves more quickly than he could have imagined. Good thing he had some self restraint, or he'd have just stalked off again, leaving the boy to moan and froth his hate at the stumps and the night.

But that was not the right thing to do. All humans were deserving of compassion, and it was important to remember that events had shaped Jimmy Brennan into the pathetic mess he was now. Specifically, a kick to the crotch had shaped him this way. Isaiah chose to temporarily deceive himself into believing that that was the only reason Brennan was such a nightmare, that he'd cool down or something any time and would be a perfectly respectable (albeit highly temporary) companion.

But then another guy had showed up. He started talking, deciding to goad Brennan, to taunt him. The funny thing was, this ticked Isaiah off even more than the sniveling little wretch at his feet. Sure, you could think awful things about other people. It was only human. You didn't go and say them, though. You didn't just run your mouth off and spew venom and hatred at the people you should have been struggling to keep safe, struggling to unite with in the face of this most terrible of tragedies.

Isaiah opened his mouth and became an instant hypocrite.

"Yeah, 'cause it's real badass to stand there and taunt a guy who just took a shot to the nuts. Like, you think you'd be doing better in his shoes? 'For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.' -Matthew 7:2."

That... was undeniably not the best diplomatic decision in this very tense situation. Perhaps a moment of reflection was in order. Isaiah fell silent, waiting for the reprisal he assumed was imminent, trying to steel himself to do the right thing this time and not snap back. He would take the high road. Besides, it wasn't like he was going to win this debate.

After all, leading into an argument with a quote that could instantly be turned back on yourself wasn't a very sound strategy on the best of days.
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Juliette Sargent
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MurderWeasel
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By the time Alex looked up and started to address Isaiah, the runner was fifty feet away and not slowing down.

It was... well, no way around it, he wasn't really being brave or helping anyone. Thing was, as soon as the fists had started to fly, it became pretty clear that nobody here wanted or needed his help. The swearing, the punching, the blood, it was all the worst of everything Isaiah had ever thought about his classmates, come true before his eyes. This was what he'd feared, what he'd expected to meet everywhere, what he'd been so pleased to momentarily escape.

The absolutely brutal part of this situation was that it wasn't anyone's fault. Alex had goaded Jimmy. That was wrong. Jimmy had retaliated through escalation. That was wrong. Isaiah hadn't been able to do anything to stop it, had actually helped it along with a little cutting remark of his own. That was wrong.

But if three wrongs didn't make a right, layering on a fourth wasn't going to bring them any closer. The only way to break the fight up now would be violence. The two boys hadn't seemed super thrilled with Isaiah to begin with, and while the thought of unifying them in brotherhood and a common goal was wonderful and touching, the fact that that goal would almost certainly be beating the stuffing out of Isaiah for interrupting their little dance removed the luster of the plan pretty quick. So Isaiah had taken a second to watch, making sure they weren't throwing around anything that looked like it'd actually get one of them killed, and then he'd split. He was pretty sure he was making the right choice. Pretty sure his mission here, whatever it was, involved actually accomplishing something instead of preaching to a brick wall.

He heard Alex's question from somewhere behind him: "...Isaiah, right? Want to answer a question for me?"

Lord help him, but he couldn't just bail on a line like that. Slowing for just a second, he tossed back over his shoulder, "I'll give it a pass today, but thanks for the offer. Maybe a rain check?"

And with that, he kept going, hopping over the logs, hoping he wasn't going to be chased down and clobbered, hoping he could find some people who actually wanted a hand instead of spinning his wheels like he'd done so far.

((Isaiah Garvey continued in Aimless))
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