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Keep Yourself Alive; Whether you want to or not. (TOPIC CLOSED)
Topic Started: Nov 13 2010, 03:31 PM (3,792 Views)
D/N
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[ *  *  *  *  * ]
(Imraan Al-Hariq continued from Your Cross to Bear)

The trek southward had been mostly peaceful. That was good. It allowed him to get his thoughts together, keep his cool. And of course Imraan was keeping his cool. He still had those crosses on his hands, didn't he?

He glanced down. Nope, he didn't. He was lying to himself again. The crosses must've washed off when he'd cleaned off his face and hands in the river this morning. But that was OK. Heck, everyone lied to themselves. He could admit it, he wasn't a hypocrite or anything. As long as he wasn't lying to himself about the important stuff. Like what he was doing. Who, WHAT he was looking for. And what he would do when he saw them.

I'll stop them. I was the center. I could've led GODSpeed, if I'd really wanted to. I am the rock. I'm the shepherd. I am the armor. And I will stop them.

He hadn't seen any trace of Maxwell Lombardi. That was OK. Maxwell had apparently killed Vera Osborne before he'd even come across Imraan's group at the cliffs yesterday. It had been a busy day for Maxwell Lombardi. But at least he hadn't killed anyone since then.

He will kill again, though. You know that. You saw him.

Unless he stopped Maxwell first, of course. Not that that was like likely. The island was huge, and the announcements left no doubt that there were plenty of wolves among the sheep. More wolves than he could have ever imagined possible. And names he could've never imagined. Ilario, Claire Lambert, Cisco Vasquez.

Our unluckiest of the pack this time was Daniel Kensrue, who took a shot to the face from Claire Lambert.

Claire had killed Dan Kensrue. And Jessie would have heard that.

Tenth to buy the farm was Edward Belmont, who invoked the wrath of god in the form of Rachel Gettys and took a rock to the head for his trouble.

And Rachel Gettys had killed Edward. How? HOW? How could a girl like Rachel, a girl he'd known FOR YEARS, let that happen? He had put his trust in her to lead GODSpeed. He had put his faith in her, defended her when people talked about her behind her back, knowing that she wasn't perfect and could be quick to judge, but thinking with all his heart that she was a good person. A faithful one. How could she let this happen?

He'd put his own faith in finding out, sooner or later.

Imraan had kept his distance from anyone he'd seen over the last day. There had been a couple students, alone or in small groups, but he hadn't approached them. None of them had been the people he was looking for, one way or the other. And while he didn't like leaving them to fend for themselves, right now he simply couldn't burden himself with them. The sheep could not go into battle against the wolves. Of course, if he'd seen Jessie, or even someone like JJ or Kaitlin or Mike, it would've been different, but for now he'd just hope that they wouldn't run into someone like Maxwell before he did, even if he knew that was unlikely.

Then, after another cold and uncomfortable night spent in the woods, he reached the southern cliffs and saw someone in the distance. Ivan Kuznetsov. Ivan Kuznetsov, who had not only killed someone, but who had been rewarded for it.

Steady.

Imraan's reached into his memory bank and tried to remember what Danya had said about Ivan's kill, but the specifics weren't coming to him. It had been one kill, hadn't it? The very first day. And he'd been given... a prize or something.

Alright, so you've found one of them. Now what? You've got about five seconds to decide, Imraan.

Ivan was sitting with a girl, eating. He couldn't make out who the girl was just yet, but Ivan certainly didn't LOOK like he was about to kill her. Maybe they'd teamed up, or maybe she was a hostage of some sort.

Or maybe he wasn't a murderer after all. Maybe he'd defended himself.

You think they give out prizes for that, buddy?

Only one way to find out for sure. He steeled himself, and walked towards Ivan and the girl, keeping his concentration on them and not noticing the other figures arriving elsewhere in the area. He kept the shotgun in both hands, holding it at waist level. Not pointing it at them, but he would be ready to. There was no reason to try to sneak up on them, he wasn't exactly inconspicuous and there was nowhere here to hide anyway.

"Hey. It's Imraan, Imraan Al-Hariq."

The girl was Tabitha Gweneth, he now saw. She hadn't been one of the names read out, at least he thought she hadn't been.

"I'm not gonna shoot."

That line tasted bitter, like a lie. He felt sweat on his hands against the shotgun and hoped his hands weren't shaking. Then he stopped a short distance away from Ivan and Tabi, staring at the Russian.

"I wanna talk to you, Ivan."
v6!
G058: Kaitlyn Greene aka Katy Buried - Horse Tranquilizer and Syringe
She Knew She'd Found Freedom - Questions - Fools - Barons - Opportunities - Sideshows - Dawns - Gulches

v5!
G038: Deanna Hull - Replica Freddy Glove - DECEASED
From Sea to Sky -Smoke--Sun--Tiki--Nine--Repeat--Talk--Now--Drift--Hunger--Valley--Fall--Rust--Paper--Heart--Sky-
B023: Jesse Jennings - Riz Action Figure - DECEASED
From Vision to Glory -Vision--Summon--Time--Plan--Length--Sleep--Cause-

v4!
B006: Ricky Fortino - Trowel - DECEASED
B022: Imraan Al-Hariq - Remington 870 - DECEASED
G036: Carly Jean Dooley - VASE D: - DECEASED
G077: Andrea Raymer - Gunpowder - ?????
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D/N
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Guy Maddin's favorite A.D.
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
"What do I want?"

Imraan glanced over at Tabitha Gweneth. Then he looked down at the shotgun by Ivan's feet. He had no idea whether what he was going to say was a bluff or not.

"Heard your name, Ivan. On the announcements, way back."

He realized that he couldn't remember who it was that Ivan'd been accused of killing. Should he let him know that? No, not yet.

He motioned to Ivan's shotgun.

"So what, that your prize you got for it, Ivan? Huh? What do I want? I wanna know if you're a killer or not, I guess that's it. I wanna KNOW what happened that got you that shotgun. Why don't you start with that?"

Then, a sudden burst of static whined through the air, followed by Danya's voice. It was a moment of distraction for Imraan, and to be honest he almost pulled the trigger in a moment of blind panic. But still, his head turned instinctively towards the sky at the sound, and his attention left the two people in front of him for the moment.
Edited by D/N, Dec 6 2010, 03:29 PM.
v6!
G058: Kaitlyn Greene aka Katy Buried - Horse Tranquilizer and Syringe
She Knew She'd Found Freedom - Questions - Fools - Barons - Opportunities - Sideshows - Dawns - Gulches

v5!
G038: Deanna Hull - Replica Freddy Glove - DECEASED
From Sea to Sky -Smoke--Sun--Tiki--Nine--Repeat--Talk--Now--Drift--Hunger--Valley--Fall--Rust--Paper--Heart--Sky-
B023: Jesse Jennings - Riz Action Figure - DECEASED
From Vision to Glory -Vision--Summon--Time--Plan--Length--Sleep--Cause-

v4!
B006: Ricky Fortino - Trowel - DECEASED
B022: Imraan Al-Hariq - Remington 870 - DECEASED
G036: Carly Jean Dooley - VASE D: - DECEASED
G077: Andrea Raymer - Gunpowder - ?????
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D/N
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Guy Maddin's favorite A.D.
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Danya's words played over the PA, and Imraan could only react with some kind of puzzled confusion as to what they meant. He resolved to think about them later, because the person transcribing his thoughts was obviously a clueless moron.

Then Ivan spoke, admitted to killing. And at this point, pointing a shotgun at a kid he knew from school and accusing him of murder, Imraan realized that he had no no idea what he was going to do next. Absolutely none.

Oh, brilliant plan he had. He was a leader, all right. He was the guy who knew what to do. He was the guy who'd be able to help others who came to him.

But hadn't he known that this was how it would end up? It had probably come to him at some point when he was going off on this quest, and he'd just pushed it aside. Either he'd end up getting himself killed, or he'd end up in a situation like this.

He had to say something.

"I'm not gonna shoot her Ivan. But you know what, you killed someone, you don't deserve that shotgun. I want you to pick it up, OK-- I want you to pick it up SLOWLY, and then I want you to toss it off the cliff there."

He finished, and then changed his mind in an instant before Ivan could respond.

"Actually, you know what? Forget that. Change that, I'm not gonna trust you to do that Ivan. Tabitha, you pick up the shotgun, you toss it off the cliff, OK girl? And then I think you should get out of here."
v6!
G058: Kaitlyn Greene aka Katy Buried - Horse Tranquilizer and Syringe
She Knew She'd Found Freedom - Questions - Fools - Barons - Opportunities - Sideshows - Dawns - Gulches

v5!
G038: Deanna Hull - Replica Freddy Glove - DECEASED
From Sea to Sky -Smoke--Sun--Tiki--Nine--Repeat--Talk--Now--Drift--Hunger--Valley--Fall--Rust--Paper--Heart--Sky-
B023: Jesse Jennings - Riz Action Figure - DECEASED
From Vision to Glory -Vision--Summon--Time--Plan--Length--Sleep--Cause-

v4!
B006: Ricky Fortino - Trowel - DECEASED
B022: Imraan Al-Hariq - Remington 870 - DECEASED
G036: Carly Jean Dooley - VASE D: - DECEASED
G077: Andrea Raymer - Gunpowder - ?????
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D/N
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Guy Maddin's favorite A.D.
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Imraan had heard that time slows down in situations like these. That ten seconds can seem like ten minutes. In fiction that was what gave the hero time to think rationally about what was going on, decide on the best course of action, and execute it, all in a split second of real time. That was a load of bunk. In the time after the announcement had finished and he'd spoken, and first Ivan and then Tabitha had given their responses, maybe sixty seconds had passed, and they sure hadn't seemed like sixty minutes to Imraan. Maybe for some people they did, but not for him. If anything, time had sped up; sixty seconds felt like sixteen, or six. That was too little time to think, too little time to figure out what in the heck he was going to do no matter how the two students he was holding at gunpoint reacted to his demand.

Ivan spoke first, admitting that he'd killed, seemingly not wanting to look at Imraan as he said it? Was he remorseful, or was he just trying to save himself? And did it matter either way? Imraan didn't know, because there was just no time to figure it out. Sure, he'd had plenty of time to think about what he'd do when he found a student like Ivan, a killer, on his way here. But he'd never arrived at a conclusion. What, did he think he'd trust in God that he'd know what to do? Yeah, right. God didn't decide for you whether you were going to pull the trigger or not. He might give you the gun, He might provide you with the situation, but now that Imraan was here, it was his choice alone whether to take that leap.

Then Tabitha spoke, refused to play along. Her strength, the fire in her defense of Ivan was more than surprising; it was unsettling. One side of Imraan wanted to believe her, wanted to just turn around a leave. But another side, a bitter, unnerving side, told him that she was just as bad as Ivan, just as guilty, and that he couldn't let either of them leave this cliff. Neither side could bow the other in the brief seconds they had to battle.

Then she made her final plea for him to leave, and Imraan realized with finality that he didn't know what to do. He was going to stand there, frozen, a monument of inaction exposed and recorded in time for all the world to see. His finger wavered, and then, then he didn't really know what happened.

There was a sudden noise from behind him, and his hands jerked and his finger just slipped.

He hadn't meant to shot them.

He hadn't mean to shoot Tabi, at least.

But there hadn't been time to think.

And then, in THAT split second after he'd pulled the triggers, time finally decided to slow down, and it seemed he had time to think.

God. GOD. I didn't mean it. Please let it miss them. Let me take it back.
v6!
G058: Kaitlyn Greene aka Katy Buried - Horse Tranquilizer and Syringe
She Knew She'd Found Freedom - Questions - Fools - Barons - Opportunities - Sideshows - Dawns - Gulches

v5!
G038: Deanna Hull - Replica Freddy Glove - DECEASED
From Sea to Sky -Smoke--Sun--Tiki--Nine--Repeat--Talk--Now--Drift--Hunger--Valley--Fall--Rust--Paper--Heart--Sky-
B023: Jesse Jennings - Riz Action Figure - DECEASED
From Vision to Glory -Vision--Summon--Time--Plan--Length--Sleep--Cause-

v4!
B006: Ricky Fortino - Trowel - DECEASED
B022: Imraan Al-Hariq - Remington 870 - DECEASED
G036: Carly Jean Dooley - VASE D: - DECEASED
G077: Andrea Raymer - Gunpowder - ?????
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D/N
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Guy Maddin's favorite A.D.
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
How Imraan even managed to hang on to the shotgun after it discharged in his hands, he'd never know. But it didn't matter. His nerves were shot. He couldn't fire it again.

And don't try to tell yourself that it "discharged in your hands", man. You pulled the trigger.

He had. But he hadn't meant it. Not yet, at least.

Imraan saw Ivan dive to the ground and took a step forward, not knowing what to say, not knowing if he'd hit Tabitha or not. The shotgun wavered, then pointed down to the cliffside ground as Imraan raised his right hand towards the couple, in some kind of a sign of truce.

"No... no man, I..."

Then Ivan moved, grabbing his own gun and leveling it at Imraan.

"I've changed my mind! I'm not dying yet, so get out of here!"

Just like that, the tables were turned. Imraan froze, hand still held upward, trying to think of what to say. But before he could, a low groan came from Ivan's feet.

"Ivan..."

Tabitha. She was fine, at least.

"Alright," he said. "I'm going." His words were without conviction. Whatever he'd come her to do, he'd failed at. He'd failed again. And now what? Would Ivan go off and kill again? Probably. Even if what Tabitha had said was true, that wouldn't stop from Ivan killing someone else if he thought he needed to. And there wasn't anything he could do about that. He'd had his chance.

He began backing off. "Ivan..." he started, then stopped, looking into Ivan's eyes. He couldn't judge the kid's intentions. He just couldn't. But he had to say something. Anything to make him feel like less a failure here. Anything to give him some hope.

"Don't let me hear you on those announcements again." he finally said. He continued to stare levelly at the shorter student, hoping that his words would at least have some weight.

"I'll come back. I promise that."

(Imraan Al-Hariq continued in Shaker)
v6!
G058: Kaitlyn Greene aka Katy Buried - Horse Tranquilizer and Syringe
She Knew She'd Found Freedom - Questions - Fools - Barons - Opportunities - Sideshows - Dawns - Gulches

v5!
G038: Deanna Hull - Replica Freddy Glove - DECEASED
From Sea to Sky -Smoke--Sun--Tiki--Nine--Repeat--Talk--Now--Drift--Hunger--Valley--Fall--Rust--Paper--Heart--Sky-
B023: Jesse Jennings - Riz Action Figure - DECEASED
From Vision to Glory -Vision--Summon--Time--Plan--Length--Sleep--Cause-

v4!
B006: Ricky Fortino - Trowel - DECEASED
B022: Imraan Al-Hariq - Remington 870 - DECEASED
G036: Carly Jean Dooley - VASE D: - DECEASED
G077: Andrea Raymer - Gunpowder - ?????
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