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It Knows Nothing of Whim; Day 4. Morning. Open.
Topic Started: Nov 9 2010, 04:01 PM (3,818 Views)
Stark
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Nuts.
[ *  *  * ]
((R.J. Lowe continued from Where Do You Go From Here?))

05:41 AM

The last time R.J. Lowe had a full night's sleep, it was under a sedative.

Sure, he'd nodded off a couple times throughout the night, but never long enough to achieve REM sleep. Never long enough to have those nightmares about Eva again. Exhausted as he was after a day spent traveling, with only brief stops to eat and shit, he couldn't bring himself to fall asleep. The reasons for this were manifold:

1. What he'd done to Eva. There was truth to Isaiah 48:22, that there was no rest unto the wicked, and what he'd done was definitely wicked. He could try and justify it all he wanted, that she shot first, but the fact was that he still shot second. That he'd taken a girl's life long before her time. There was no forgiveness for that, in R.J.'s mind. Not even if God Himself forgave him, would he ever forgive himself.

2. It was dark. It might have sounded silly to anyone else, but ever since reading House of Leaves, R.J. was fucking terrified of the dark. And it wasn't just any dark in those tunnels; it was that same thick, creeping darkness that could well have been considered a being unto itself. It fed on his hatred of uncertainty, his fear of what lurked just outside his peripheral vision. Because now, everything did. It fueled the paranoia inherent in being trapped on this island. The only assurance that the head that lay in his lap was whose he thought was the comfortingly familiar sounds of her snoring.

3. Oh, yeah, Mary-Ann snored. Loud. Like, it reminded him of Elizabeth, that loud.

4. And on that note, there wasn't much R.J. could do to protect her in his sleep. If he heard anything, he had the flashlight and pistol at the ready. Tired though he was, he needed to stay at attention in case someone, or perhaps worse, something - there was a bear on this island, after all - made their presence known. Her safety was his primary concern.

His stomach ached. There was no way they'd be able to survive on the rations they were provided, and the effects of that were already kicking in. Hopefully the girl using him as a pillow wouldn't be awakened by the rumblings of his digestive system. One of them, at least, deserved to rest peacefully. Gently, he ran a hand through her hair. It took a couple tries to find it in the darkness, though, but when he did, it was comforting. Even if he couldn't see her, she was cute when she slept. In its own bizarre way, the snoring only added to that. It brought back memories of when they first met, or at least, when they first spoke to each other. They were in the school library between classes, and she fell asleep at the table where he'd been reading. Don't snore too loud was even the first thing he said to her.

Typed.

Either way.

A lot had changed since then, more of it in the last few days than in the months prior. They would never change back, even if they both made it back alive. Both of them had seen things no one their age should have to see. R.J. was already a killer. 40 of their classmates had died in two days, all told, and it was likely more had gone the same way in the ensuing 23-plus hours. At that rate, there was no question. Something had to be done to put a stop to this, but damned if R.J. knew what. Even if he knew, however, could he be the one to do it?

Well, he'd sure as hell try.

Sitting back against the rough walls of the tunnels, he shut his weary eyes. Maybe I should just sleep on it.

06:59 AM

"...a further twenty-three of your peers have bitten the dust. Outstanding, kiddies. Simply outstanding."

Hardly the words R.J. had hoped to awaken to. Then again, it was going to be like this every day, wasn't it? The young man listened intently as the names were read off. First, a suicide. Then, a third kill for Maxwell Lombardi. He'd have to watch out for Britons, he guessed. Albert Lions, killed by Kris Hartmann. One he definitely could have prevented. A death by snakebite. A terrible pun. One of those triplets murdered Jackson Ockley... somehow. R.J. didn't get Danya's joke, and he didn't think too hard on it. Maxwell Lombardi again. He'd need to be stopped, somehow. Find someone who knows what he looks like. Quincy Jones, whoever that was, was playing, then Janet... what? He was nearly as puzzled by her surname as he was by her cause of death, which, again, but for different reasons, he didn't linger on. Sarah Atwell struck again, as did Rachel Gettys. Big surprise there. Hayley Kelly, Clio Gabriella, and Claire Lambert were named as individuals to watch out for, which would help if R.J. knew any of them, while Deidre Paul succumbed to the swamp. Simon Fletcher-

No.

Not Simon Fletcher.

They'd met up on the first day. It was Simon's issued weapon that R.J. now carried. He remembered intending to return it, even. He thought he told him not to die, dammit! They were supposed to get out of this mess! There was no way... this couldn't be happening. R.J. gazed wide-eyed in abject horror into the inky blackness as the realization dawned on him - Simon had given him his gun. R.J. used that gun to kill. Simon had, if Danya was being truthful, asked to be killed.

Because of his own actions, Simon was dead.

The pitch-dark tunnels were filled with the sound of a haunting, breathy hiss, that anyone who knew R.J. Lowe would recognize as screaming.
<Mimi>: You are much nicer than I thought you'd be!
<Stark>: Shut up, fatty.
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Stark
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((Really, all GMing between these two is planned out. Saying that now to save time.))

Footsteps.

They weren't alone.

They were still a ways off, but getting closer. R.J. felt around for his gun, still hoping he wouldn't need to use it. Nothing. He'd need to get up and look. He reached for a bag, it didn't matter which, to rest Mary-Ann's head on, so as not to disturb her.

"Kid, I don' know who you are, but you're a godsend baby."

Whoever was approaching, he was now standing right over them, and he'd launched into a monologue. R.J. fucking hated monologues. However, this was slightly different - the guy was monologing about how he had his gun. About how he was going to kill them. And that? That made something in R.J. snap. Mary-Ann was not going to die because he lost his gun to this douchebag. No chance in hell. Taking care not to wake her, he slid the bag under her head. The guy's speech bought him plenty of time to react calmly and rationally. He rose to his feet, slowly marching towards the monster in the darkness.

"If ya' got any last words you wanna say, say em' now."

I said them five years ago, you son of a bitch.

No sooner had the word "fishes" left the other kid's lips, R.J. sprung himself shoulder-first at his foe. With his sight hindered, he'd need to rely on his remaining senses more than ever. He felt the contours of an eye socket wrap around his left elbow. Tasted the bony taste of a loosened second molar before he spat it out into his opponent's face. Heard the distinctive thwack of knuckles against ribs. Smelled that cold, wet, iron smell of fresh blood in a dank cavern. Everything was a blur of pure sensory chaos and two bodies clashed blindly in the dark. It went on for some minutes, and no one had the upper hand. The combatants became messes of black eyes, cracked teeth and broken knuckles. Somewhere along the way, R.J. was flung backwards into the tunnel walls. This, ultimately, was where the tide of the battle shifted.

As R.J. placed his hand in the dirt to push himself back to his feet, he felt something. Something all too familiar to him. Something cold, metallic. Something semiautomatic. Something that had 15 9x19mm Parabellum rounds left. Something his opponent must have dropped in the struggle.

With one swift motion, he wrapped his fingers around the handle of the gun, swung it straight out in front of him, steadied his grip with his right hand, fired from the seat of his pants, and hoped he hit something.
<Mimi>: You are much nicer than I thought you'd be!
<Stark>: Shut up, fatty.
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Stark
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A scream. The high-pitched scream of a young woman. Oh no, R.J. thought. No, no, no, no, no, Mary-Ann, no-

"AAGH YOU BITCH!"

Oh. Well, nevermind then.

With another furious battlecry, the beast in the darkness kicked wildly at R.J.'s face, but he didn't flinch. If Mary-Ann was going to survive this, he had to face the darkness head on. The beast flailed about with little rhyme or reason as it stumbled backwards. R.J. rose to his feet, taking slow, patient steps toward the creature writhing in the pitch. He raised the gun to its center. This was it. The moment of truth, and other such cliches. He had to put this thing out of its misery. For Mary-Ann's sake, he had to act. Had to pull the trigger.

He didn't.

He couldn't. The thing wasn't a thing. It was a person. A student, just like him. He wasn't a monster, just a kid. A scared, broken, beaten, wounded kid. He could just picture him lying on the ground before him, and what he saw could only be described as... well, pathetic. He took pity on the boy. Lowered his guard. Dropped the gun to his side. He'd done enough. He'd rendered him harmless. Impotent. There was no need to kill. Not again.

Those were his thoughts before the beast made one more mad dive at his gun.

Oh, how foolish he had been. If one thing could be said definitively of R.J., however, it was that he always learned from his mistakes, and it was a lesson the beast was taught by the butt of a pistol slapping it across the jaw. This creature, this thing, it didn't deserve to be called human. It spoke like a man, but it was nothing more than a wild animal. And R.J.? He'd killed more than a few animals in his time. What was one more? Especially since this was no mere deer; this beast had attacked him first. This monster was ready to kill Mary-Ann, had he not stopped it.

There was no need to let his conscience get in the way, as he raised his foot as high as it would go.

There was no reason to feel remorse, as he brought it straight down with all his might.

An audible cracking sound echoed throughout the tunnels. The beast let out a labored cry, wheezing out various obscenities before R.J. brought his steel-toed boot back, then kicked it straight into the source of the blasphemous noise. You talk too much. He ambled around to the beast's side, and thrust his foot into it once more. Twice more. Thrice more. Again.

Again.

Again.

Again.

















A pause. Deep breaths.

























AGAIN.

It continued for minutes on end. Each kick grew more labored as time wore on. His target slowly began to feel less like a solid entity than a fine paste. Its cries had been rendered silent. Its thrashing was replaced with stillness. And as R.J., at long last, came to a halt, he collapsed to his knees, covered in sweat and gasping for air.




All that remained was darkness.
<Mimi>: You are much nicer than I thought you'd be!
<Stark>: Shut up, fatty.
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Stark
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Out of the darkness, a single, solitary index finger placed itself over Mary-Ann's lips. R.J. could hear what she was playing at, and he'd have none of it. Not here, at least. Carefully, he guided her away from the sound of the footsteps, back to where their belongings were. As quickly as he could manage, he knelt down, proceeding to rifle through the nearest bag for a flashlight.

Moments later, the darkness was finally broken, and what the light revealed was a young man and woman, terror adorning both their faces. If not for the imminent threat posed by the now-silent footsteps, he'd breathe a sigh of relief for her safety. As it was, however, he'd need to save it for later. First concern: replenish their supplies. They were both running low on food, so if their attacker had any left, it would prove invaluable to their survival. He turned the light back towards the body... oh dear God. The body. What had once been another student was no more than a twisted wreckage of flesh and bone, floating in a sea of red. His chest had been visibly caved in, his face... he couldn't make out his face from this angle, but he was afraid to look. Afraid to find out he'd killed someone he knew. As he angled around toward the corpse's bag, he got a better look, only to learn there was no way he'd know until tomorrow morning. His face.

Son of a bitch, where was his face?!

R.J. averted his eyes, but it didn't stop him from vomiting. Water, blood, and stomach acid shot from his mouth to the cave floor as he gasped for breath. He'd done this. He'd so viciously destroyed a life that it was unrecognizable as what it had once been. He'd done this, without any semblance of mercy, sympathy or compassion. Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.

Dwell on that later. Just grab his bag and run. Run as far from the sins of your hand as your legs will take you. You may not escape them, but Mary-Ann is still innocent. For her sake, grab everything you can and run. Never let her stray from your sight. Run. Run.

And run they did.

((R.J. Lowe and Mary-Ann Warren continued in Keep Yourself Alive))
<Mimi>: You are much nicer than I thought you'd be!
<Stark>: Shut up, fatty.
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