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Faraday's Cages; Private thread
Topic Started: Nov 15 2010, 02:50 AM (5,455 Views)
Jonny
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You hate kings and you think kings are really stupid. They are petty, bossy tyrants and are really full of themselves and are basically awful in every way.
[ *  *  * ]
((Charlie DuClare continued from Day of the Dave))

How's this for a silver lining:

None of Dave's friends had died yesterday. None of Helen's friends had died yesterday. None of Winsome's friends (her name was Winsome, the poor scared girl, that's the sort of thing you learn when you have a few hours to fill with small talk, but not much else because she's still pretty quiet and she's still kinda shook up) had died yesterday. And hey, hey, none of Charlie's, so chin up chin up gotta keep positive gotta keep everything moving and everybody functional. They'll get to the river, the five of them, and they'll all still be alive and they'll all have each other and maybe just maybe if they all play their cards right, someone might end up cracking a smile before the day is over. Silver linings! Yeah!

Silver linings were sorta Charlie's job right now, since she'd sort of stumbled into the role of group leader- how the fuck did that happen?- and that was number one on the agenda. One of them being sad and broken? That was, that was maybe manageable that wasn't so bad maybe she'd get better sometime and it'd be okay? But if someone else started to fall apart, it was all over. House of cards starts to teeter starts to totter starts to slide and it all comes down and there's Charlie sitting with crossed legs wondering how, just how, just how it all got away from her and how she ended up alone again.

's a bit of a problem with the arrangement when the group leader is dedicating all her energy to small talk and half-funny inoffensive little jokes and adorable attempts to keep everybody's mood up, plus she hasn't really delegated any duties to anyone else (except for the walking-along-awkwardly-and-mostly-quietly duties, she'd delegated those to everyone else like a fucking champ). Problem goes like this: who the fuck is steering us? Well that's easy, silly, Charlie is steering, she's the one in front and everyone else is pretty much just following her lead, but the drawback here is that she's not actually sure where she's going.

There was actually a route that would have gotten them all to the river much quicker than the route Charlie led them down.

Please don't tell her that. She would feel so so stupid if she found out.

But after a long long while of left foot right foot just keep moving forward, they all finally made it somewhere that ever so slightly resembled almost there. And there was this sound- well, there were the crunchy footsteps, that was definitely one of the sounds- but off in the distance you could hear it you could definitely hear it. Could you hear it? Ssh, Charlie is trying to listen... Sounds like water! Sounds like a stream running! Yes! Yes! Victory! Good leader! Best leader! Awesome!

"Guys, wait, can you hear it? Sssh, listen!" And they all did and you could hear a bit of running water, you could hea-

Screaming. Oh.

So she took off running towards it and it wasn't so far off and she was pretty soon she was there, right there with the screaming in front of her, the screaming was coming from a girl who- what the fuck did she do to herself like, oh God, oh Jesus Christ, it just smelled like burning and it looked all wrong on her neck and for all Charlie knew the girl's collar was going to explode at any moment. But she had to be brave, she was the leader for now, nobody had looked confident enough on the trip for her to seize the opportunity and shunt off the mantle of leadership onto them, she had to be brave even though she'd maybe probably just used all her bravery up by running to the screaming and not away from it. She had to take action.

"I- Holy fuck! Wha- Dave, fucking do something!"

Courage.
Jeremy Franco is alive. You can write a better ending, goddammit.

Charlie DuClare is dead. And nothing was easy anymore except to smile.
Julian Avery is dead. Courage was the man with a gun in his hand.
JJ Sturn is dead. Fuck it, all good things gotta come to an end.
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Jonny
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You hate kings and you think kings are really stupid. They are petty, bossy tyrants and are really full of themselves and are basically awful in every way.
[ *  *  * ]
Maybe time to freak out now. Maaaaaybe.

Well, by some liberal definitions of the word, Charlie had already started freaking out. There was that one moment where their new friend Liz had killed a camera with a pen, which had prompted Charlie to let out an alarmed little shout, not- not a shriek, definitely not a shriek and if anyone told you that she'd shrieked then they were... wrong. It was a bit of a weird-as-fuck situation, and nobody could blame Charlie if she just decided to get the fuck out of there before something dangerous happened, but... no, she was gonna stick it out, try to keep calm. Do her best. Her friends needed her to, right?

"Umm... okay. What we want is we were just trying to get-" Wait wait wait. Before something dangerous happened. No, too late for that. New friend Liz had just killed a camera with a pen. You didn't even have to watch SotF to hear about some of the things that went down on previous runs, some of the things like Did you guys hear that some kid was going around breaking cameras like he was rebelling against the system, and then the guy who runs it all just pressed some buttons? And he just flat-out killed some kids that didn't even have anything to do with it, just to punish the guy who was breaking cameras? Huh. About that.

"Okay, wait, sorry. Before I explain, I- we- we're a little concerned about the camera-breaking, I think. I mean, if- well, since you did... something to your collar and now it's... not working anymore? You can live through it just fine if Danya pushes a button with your name on it. We don't... we don't have that luxury, is all. So if you could... not..."

Liz blinked. Liz said "sure". Liz made a face. Huh.

That was it? Sure? And, well, the hell did that face mean? What a- okay, you know what, fuck it, not worth it, just go ahead and explain so you can get everyone out of here. They're all (probably?) relying on you to get them out of here, so this was not a time to get carried away. Not a time to wonder if a word and a face meant something bad, meant something nasty, meant something worth starting a fight over.

"Uh. Okay. Right. So all we were doing was we were trying to make it to the river, trying to get ourselves clean after, what is it, four days now here. Then all of a sudden I hear this screaming so we go decide to check it out and we-" Wait. Oh. Oh. Oh God. The face, the one word. That's what it- oh God. Oh no no no.

It hurt for Liz to talk, didn't it? Her neck looked like it'd been stuck in an oven so her throat must- oh God, how bad did it have to hurt just for Liz to gargle out a sure? You poor thing you- you big stupid fucking poor thing, why didn't you just nod! Nodding is even less words or- or if it hurts to even move your neck, just give a thumbs up! You don't need to fucking kill yourself just to say yes!

Don't say of that, Charlie. Don't ever ever say any of that. Instead:

"Okay. Liz, what's important is... we're not gonna hurt you. We're gonna help you whatever way we can, okay?" Kinder tone, gentler tone. Less shouty, less exaggerated. Not one she was that used to, but eh, whatever. "We, uh... we found you right by the river, and we... we thought you could use some help. That's Helen, she's our med student and she's the one who actually knows what she's doing and I think you... you maybe owe your life to here. And there's Dave, he was the one with the idea to dunk you in the water, so- so God knows he helped out a lot too. And that's Winsome, she gave you the sweatshirt, and... well, I think you and the sweatshirt are getting along pretty well already."

A little smile. A subtle implication that maybe the people just named deserved a bit of thanks. So why wasn't Charlie on the list? She'd been the one that had first heard Liz, she was the reason they all found her to begin with, right? So she maybe deserved a share of the gratitude, yeah? Weeeeeeeell, fuck that. For one, putting herself on the list would mean that Isabel would be the only one not on. The only one who hadn't helped. All alone. And Isabel did. Not. Need. To feel all alone right now.

And for two, Charlie didn't really feel like she needed any thanks right now. She kinda felt pretty good about herself anyway.
Jeremy Franco is alive. You can write a better ending, goddammit.

Charlie DuClare is dead. And nothing was easy anymore except to smile.
Julian Avery is dead. Courage was the man with a gun in his hand.
JJ Sturn is dead. Fuck it, all good things gotta come to an end.
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Jonny
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You hate kings and you think kings are really stupid. They are petty, bossy tyrants and are really full of themselves and are basically awful in every way.
[ *  *  * ]
She kept waiting for them to come. The words. The very specific very awful words that were about to come- they were about to come, right? Something along the lines of And for those currently with Ms. Polanski, you have two options. Either you kill her right here and now and receive your reward, or I blow your collars for collaborating with her. Maybe that. That would be bad. Maybe And for those currently with Ms. Polanski, you have already collaborated with her by saving her life. I will be commencing the punishment now. That would be worse. So which one was it going to be? Was it- well, no, was that really gonna be worse than... well, think about it this way, she wasn't gonna kill Liz even if ordered to so it'd just be the same as- but could she maybe count on someone else in the group to, like who could maybe- oh fuck Jesus no she wasn't really thinking that like how could she even, fuck, no, that way would definitely be just as bad because fuck, it's-

The words never came.

Instead there was just this little reminder that if Liz stayed at large for a while and if Charlie and the rest stayed with her throughout all that time then maybe Danya would send some men to kill them. So if they all just said goodbye to Liz then they'd be fine right? It was- it would be okay, things would be that okay. Danya wasn't gonna get spiteful on them, Danya was gonna let them all live even though they'd help throw a huge hole into his game. Charlie felt a little... no, not grateful. Desperate as she was for a few more moments of peace, she wasn't gonna let herself be grateful to Danya. But... relieved. That was it. Relieved.

Was that a bad thing?

It probably was. It was probably a very very bad thing that this girl right next to her this girl who hadn't done anything wrong she had a death on her conscience now and she had Danya talking about how he was gonna send men to kill her and Charlie's biggest thought was Well that's a relief. It was probably a very bad thing and a very shameful thing and she probably ought to be feeling some guilt right now. For shame, Charlie, for shame. Where is your guilt, where is your shame, where is your head bent low and your hands folded all contrite all ready to make amends for your awful crime.

To be honest? Charlie was having a pretty hard time feeling guilty about it. Still too much relief.

So maybe later.

For now, it was... yeah, Isabel was already leaving, they were already leaving. That sorta went without saying. It'd be nice to stay, maybe, if there wasn't the bounty on her head. It'd be- Charlie would've kinda liked that, even if it meant making their group even larger and harder to manage. Liz was a fucking weirdo, so Charlie's track record on the island so far meant that they'd have become fast friends. Little flashes in her mind's eye: Charlie defending Liz from some bully by slinging a stream of horrible nasty words their way. Charlie working up the courage to ask Liz for help with her science homework. And a hug.

Those never happened. Those won't happen. Oh well.

So it was time to leave. And from the looks of it, time to toss some parting gifts to Liz. Tiny little things that were definitely not gonna be of any use once trained men with big guns started coming after her. And after all, it was- oh, here's the guilt. Good timing. Really really good timing, so... yeah, Charlie was gonna leave her something too. Opened up her bag. Wondered what would seem the most heartfelt.

The mirror. The little handheld mirror that was her weapon, that was her first and only line of defense against bad scary men, that wasn't the shiny gun she'd wanted but was her weapon anyway. Give that to Liz. Make a little speech about how you can't do shit with it, but Liz, wow, she's such a fucking MacGyver that within ten minutes of getting her hands on it, she'll set up some Morse code lasers to alert satellites to our presence and get a space shuttle to land on this island and rescue us all. Give her a shy little smile at the end, implying that you're being kinda goofy but you're also kinda worried for her and you also secretly do hope that she gets us all rescued. Somehow.

So Charlie did... she did part of that. There was a little mirror at Liz's feet right now, maybe she'd notice it and maybe she wouldn't. Maybe she'd pick it up after Charlie and the others were gone and maybe she'd do something with it, maybe she'd get just enough use out of it to throw another wrench or two in Danya's game. So the mirror was there, the gift was there, the thought was there. But the little speech and the little smile and the little bit of encouragement when Lord knows Liz needed some? But the words?

The words never came.

(Charlie DuClare continued elsewhere)
Jeremy Franco is alive. You can write a better ending, goddammit.

Charlie DuClare is dead. And nothing was easy anymore except to smile.
Julian Avery is dead. Courage was the man with a gun in his hand.
JJ Sturn is dead. Fuck it, all good things gotta come to an end.
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