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Ghosts
Topic Started: Nov 9 2010, 02:10 PM (3,067 Views)
Rattlesnake
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Now you may be wondering, who was wearing the bolo tie? Me or the shark? Answer: YES!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Kari Nichols continued from High Tides and High Hopes))

Sleep. It was something Kari had gone without both in her former life and this new one.

It was a funny thing to think about - calling her days on the island a new life. But that's what it seemed like. There was a disconnect there, a giant rift in time that seemed to divide two separate Karis from each other. One of them was was active, competitive, cheerful, whirling her cube around like butter in her hands, studying instead of sleeping. The other was filled with constant dread, plodding around the island in search of safety, determined not to die but not sure how long she had; stroking the barrel of her gun for comfort, unable to sleep exposed to her classmates. Neither of the groups she'd found were satisfactory. One of them was short on security and long on firepower. The other one, much briefer, was just too uncomfortable to stand. A killer had saved her life - and she really didn't know what to think. She'd put up with him just so she could get a good night's sleep, a night's sleep that was almost eternal.

Sleep. It was something Kari had gone without. But soon, she'd sleep forever.

She'd headed for the tunnels for some reason she didn't really know. They weren't pleasant, not at all. There was a body outside one of them, a boy with his head smashed in. She shuddered, turned away, closed her eyes, grabbed her gun, solved her cube, anything to calm her nerves. And then she'd headed right into the depths. Not that specific tunnel, though. A different one, as if that really mattered. She'd tried to get some rest. But sleep just wouldn't come on the rough, uneven, rocky floor. In the cold, in the dark, undercover yet out in the open - if anyone did come by, they'd find her all to easily. The tunnels were a place to hide, but there were no places to hide in the tunnels.

Ghosts. Was she hallucinating now? She hadn't hallucinated from lack of sleep, not that she remembered. And then, some ghosts-to-be, a couple of students that she'd never in a million years attack but who had to die if she wanted to live. She didn't want that. But she couldn't bear to lose.

There was nothing for it. They'd notice her one way or another, whether she tried to slip back into the tunnels or not. Could she trust them? It didn't matter, really: the burden of trust lay on those without the machine gun to back them up. The gun. Hands off of it, let it slip to the side, show it but don't brandish it. And now, put on a friendly face.

"Erm... hey."
VeeFive


V4


NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.

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Rattlesnake
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Now you may be wondering, who was wearing the bolo tie? Me or the shark? Answer: YES!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
The tension broke - what was left of it. Really, Kari was too tired to care about walking the knife edge or the wheels of fate or whatever other stupid metaphors people used. They were friendly, so she'd be friendly back. And if they weren't, well, she'd raise the gun to her shoulder, close her eyes, and try with all her might to squeeze the trigger down. Someone would die, hopefully not her. Simple as that.

But she didn't have to worry about that. Or ghosts, apparently. Good to know. Aliens, she thought, might not be bad if her collar wasn't set to go off if she left the island. And there was a lake here, if the Loch Ness Monster showed up maybe they could eat it...

She shook her head and took a step into the cavern. And then another, and another. She walked over to a convenient boulder and sat against it. Not too close, not too far. She figured she could get off a round in two, two and a half seconds if it came down to it. She'd squeeze the trigger for one second, let off five or ten or however many rounds, then decide whether to go onto half-second bursts from there-

It was a very uncomfortable train of thought, and one she wished would stop intruding on her mind. She'd thought endlessly about it on her wanderings. Honestly, she didn't know if her firing strategy was any good. But it was something to stick to.

But now she didn't want to stick to it, and just trust people. Mizore was painting for goodness' sakes, she was probably the last person on the island who would snap and go for her throat. And the guy, he was rather curt, but not really threatening. And if she was looking for a guard while she slept, she'd have to trust them. That was the point, wasn't it?

"Thanks guys," she said simply. "I'm so tired, I've hardly slept since we got here." She grabbed the strap of the gun and made to take it off her shoulder, but choked halfway and let it fall back onto her. Quickly busying herself with her pack, she took out a bottle of water and drained its contents. She looked sadly into the empty bottle, then to the pool around the ghosts.

"Think this stuff's safe to drink?"
VeeFive


V4


NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.

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Rattlesnake
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Now you may be wondering, who was wearing the bolo tie? Me or the shark? Answer: YES!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Kari had to agree, looking into the water on the floor, that drinking it probably wasn't the best idea. She drank from Mizore's bottle, unaware of how parched she'd become. Gulping down all of it, of course, would be a bit rude, so she set the depleted bottle down aft

"Hey."

If there was one thing she really hated, it was waking up. Once she'd got into the groove, staying up hours and hours past a reasonable bedtime wasn't that bad. But in the morning, before she could gather her willpower - ugh. And this time it was even worse than normal, because she was faintly cognizant through the haze of where she was. She'd dreamt of being safe and sound in St. Paul. But that world was slipping away, peeling off in fragments like an onionskin, and it seemed that if only she wished hard enough the swiftly retreating fantasy could become reality...

In short, she couldn't be bothered to move for a simple "Hey."

The next thing is what did it for her.

Gone.

Why in the world would someone do that? The cavern felt like a fortress, and as long as it didn't become a dangerzone-

Dangerzones. She'd slept through the announcement. For a moment, she was furious. The next, she was grateful. He hadn't woken her up then, and she could have died if the caves had been declared off-limits. But then, she realized, he hadn't woken her up because the caves weren't a dangerzone. Still, uncertaintly gnawed at her mind. How was her group faring? Were they in danger? Had she let them die by her absence? Worse yet was the heartrending thought - what if they'd died while trying to find her? She shuddered a little, then forced herself slowly to her feet.

"No idea why Mizore is go-aaaahhhh-ne," she said, failing to suppress the yawn in the middle of her sentence. "I've been asleep since she gave me her water bottle. Like, is her stuff gone? And I think I missed the announcements, too. Did Carol or-" She paused, pressing her forehead into one hand, wishing she could sleep properly and restore her powers of recall. "Ugh, brainfart, Simon Grey, and, uh, Rein? I mean, was there anything about them? 'Cause I was with them, and I dunno... ugh, I dunno what's happened to them. You know anything?"
VeeFive


V4


NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.

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Rattlesnake
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Now you may be wondering, who was wearing the bolo tie? Me or the shark? Answer: YES!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
So. No Rein, Carol, Simon. She hadn't expected much, really, after Zach's response to her first query, but she went right ahead anyways. Because after waking up on a stone floor with a gun around your neck, celebrating the fact that you hadn't died during the night, screw fretting over being abrasive. Zach was certainly thinking along the same-

Wait, you were sleeping too?

Her stomach jolted, hard. Getting down to it, maybe it wasn't a huge deal that they'd missed the announcements. There were three or four dangerzones out of what, twenty locations? thirty? She'd made a bigger gamble just trusting Zach and Mizore not to kill her. And maybe Mizore had decided to leave after the announcements, anyways. She'd left that note, after all - Kari turned it over in her fingers - saying she'd gone towards the Parish. And then thanking them (Zach?) for staying with her.

Staying with her, how? The letter seemed to be for both of them - there would be hell to pay if she'd abandoned Kari's survival to chance and not apologized to her, at any rate - but she'd also thanked them for staying with her. And that didn't seem like something she'd do if she was just talking about sitting around watching Kari sleep. So that left one remaining, alarmingly passive-aggressive meaning for them...

"You ready?"

Ready? He was really just falling for her little game, hook, line, and sinker. Did he realize she'd more or less left hem to die? Did he realize that he wanted to abandon their fortress to go on a wild goose chase after someone who couldn't seem to care less about their survival?

She stoop up, placing a hand on the gun hanging from her neck as the terrible thoughts came rolling in.

She looked at the note in her other hand, and then to Zach.

She yawned deeply.

Too tired. That was it. She'd need someone to watch the next time she slept. Someone - her hand jerked back towards the stamped metal barrel, before falling limply to her side - who would actually keep watch. She'd have to go, but not without trying to have some measure of control over the situation, some measure of control over absolutely anything.

"Fine. But you walk ahead. Just because people are dying doesn't mean chivalry has to."

((Kari Nichols continued elsewhere))
VeeFive


V4


NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.

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