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They're Made Out Of Meat; PM before entering
Topic Started: Dec 16 2010, 03:28 PM (2,764 Views)
Stark
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Nuts.
[ *  *  * ]
There was a click, then a bang.

Before he had any idea what was happening, a stinging pain tore through his skull. It was like nothing he'd ever felt before, and mercifully, like nothing he'd ever feel again, though he knew, deep down, it was all he would feel for the rest of his cruelly shortened life. His legs began to crumble beneath the weight of his own body as he struggled, in vain, to keep to his feet. As he fell to the ground, he saw, from the corner of his eye, a small fire, burning in the distance. From that fire marched forth a great and terrible figure, pale of skin, a massive blade at its side. Was this the one responsible for his pain? What could this bizarre, shambling beast possibly stand to gain from his suffering?

Whatever it wanted, it would not say.

He stared up at the creature, his vision slowly beginning to blur, when it did something he did not anticipate. Gently, the figure reached out and stroked his face. It was almost as if the thing was attempting to comfort him, somehow, here in his final moments. Was this, perhaps, an angel? Some celestial host come to grant him mercy?

Slowly, he closed his eyes. As his angel of mercy raised the blade and brought it back down, he found his answer.

STAG 039: DECEASED

Nothing personal, buddy. Man's gotta eat.

((R.J. Lowe continued from Keep Yourself Alive))

Now, it was simply a matter of figuring out how best to drag a 25 pound sword and a headless deer the fifty or so yards back to the campfire. He was beginning to think that maybe they should have set it up afterward, here at the kill site, but hindsight was always 20/20, wasn't it? He didn't particularly want to ask Mary-Ann for help with any kind of heavy lifting, but his stomachache hadn't gotten any better all day.

Eh, he'd tough it out. If only for now.

Grabbing the first kill he had cause to be satisfied with by the hind legs, he hefted them over his shoulder, deciding to go back for the khanda in just a minute. He kept his eyes to the ground most of the way back, not wanting to trip on any dead tree limbs or exposed roots. His back was gonna be wicked sore tomorrow. Still, he felt like some kind of badass caveman or something right about now. Me make fire, then me kill deer with thunder stick to bring back to woman. Me goddamn Tarzan, motherfucker. The thought made R.J. chuckle just a bit, something he hadn't done in what felt like forever. It was surprisingly cathartic, all things considered.

Until he looked up, and found that Jane was playing with thunder stick and suddenly realize him completely forget leave safety on.

He tossed the carcass to one side and made a mad dash at Mary-Ann, face contorted with panic as he dived for the gun... before faceplanting right at her feet, having dived slightly too early.
<Mimi>: You are much nicer than I thought you'd be!
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Ella
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[ *  * ]
Mary Ann stifled a giggle that her conscience loudly informed her should not have been there.

"Holy crap, are you okay?" For the first time in a good while, she had spoken without bothering to whisper.

She helped to lift him up (not that it really helped all that much, but it felt like she'd made a difference), tiptoeing slightly to ruffle his hair once he was up. An affectionate gesture.

What was that all abo- Oh. She saw his eyes on the gun. He didn't think she was going to...?

"Oh!" This definitely needed clearing up. "I wasn't going to... use it or anything. I promise."

Silence. Come on, fix the awkward fix the awkward fix the awkward

"It's ok, seriously. I didn't mess with anything. I'm not like, stupid or anything. Not that you thought I was stupid-" No seriously, fix the awkward NOW. "Just seeing what button was where. And stuff."

Phew. Subject change, please~

"Um, did you get anything? Like, foodwise?"
Edited by Ella, Dec 18 2010, 11:40 PM.
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Stark
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Nuts.
[ *  *  * ]
R.J. dusted himself off, something of a futile gesture considering what a mess he'd become over the past four days anyway. As he stood, Mary-Ann ruffled his hair a bit, asking if he was okay. She would prove to be much better at stifling laughter than he would, but then, he wasn't really trying to, openly wheezing out a chuckle as he offered a thumbs up to indicate that, yes, he was fine. Gently extracting the gun from her hand, he let her say her piece, and as she spoke, calmly demonstrated proper trigger discipline to her, before flipping the damn safety on, you retard. Really, he should have been making a habit of it if he was going to leave the damn thing where she could get a hold of it.

He then held the gun out, figuring if she wanted to give it a look, it was fine, so long as she was careful.

"Um, did you get anything? Like, foodwise?"

Well, of course he did. Him big man, kill deer with thunder stick, remember? He gestured toward the still-warm carcass, which sat about a foot from the campfire. If anything, they sure as hell wouldn't be hungry tonight.
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[ *  * ]
Mary Ann glanced over at the deer... only to quickly look back to the gun. When she saw that poor headless prince of the forest, all she could think about was Rekka's mangled body- if you could call it a body still- back in the tunnels. Not right now, things were just getting better-

Her thoughts were interrupted by a loud gurgling from her stomach, reminding her that she had forgotten to eat since... when WAS the last time she'd ate? As soon as she acknowledged it, the hunger overtook her body, her hands clutching her belly until it stopped grumbling its dissatisfaction.

R.J. had gone back to the deer, probably wondering the same thing she was at the moment. How exactly were they going to cook it? Mary Ann had never hunted before, but she knew that one didn't just kill something and throw it on the fire. You had to skin it, let it bleed out, they had to find some way to hold it over the fire, and of course they couldn't just put up the whole thing, since it was huge and there are parts you're not supposed to eat... a whole day could pass before dinner was ready (and that was assuming the deer was ok to eat, she'd read about various diseases you could get if you don't cook meat properly especially if it came from wild animals and ok I should say something right now).

"Um, you want to have something while it's cooking? Like, an appetizer? I'm really hungry right now." She decided not to mention that she was just trying not to see the deer he'd brought home.
Edited by Ella, Jan 2 2011, 01:02 PM.
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Stark
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Nuts.
[ *  *  * ]
It was at that point it occurred to R.J. that he hadn't thought his cunning plan all the way through.

There was a shitload of prep work to be done to that deer before it would be ready to eat, or even cook, and the fact was, he didn't even have a knife. Suddenly, he felt like the shittiest caveman ever. This wasn't even the first time he'd done this, how did he let that slip his mind? The khanda wasn't going to cut it, so to speak, when it came to the precision he'd need for this. Not only had he just wasted a bullet, he'd taken the life of an innocent stag for absolutely nothing. He clutched his stomach as the pain continued to sharpen. Mary-Ann, he noticed, was just averting her eyes. God, this wasn't making things easier on her, was it?

Going to his bag, he pulled out his sleeping bag - not like he'd need it again, he thought - and covered the animal as best he could. Unless someone magically came along with a proper knife, the appetizers would be dinner. He slouched back over toward Mary-Ann, sitting down beside her with a sigh.

Whatever you've got, I guess.


6:15 AM

It was a testament to how shellshocked his experiences had left him that it wasn't the twenty-five deaths that fazed him now, but rather, the fact that a terrorist mastermind had just compared him to a fart. Sure, he may not have meant that when he said "silent but deadly," but it was what R.J. heard. As he awoke, he attempted to sit up. The key word, of course, was "attempt" - instead, he curled into the fetal position, the pain almost unbearable. Like his stomach was beginning to cannibalize itself from malnutrition. He turned his head back. Mary-Ann was still fast asleep, snoring like a beast, the announcement apparently not disturbing her in the slightest.

He had to stay strong, for her sake. He couldn't let the pain get to him. Soon enough, he figured, they'd find some real food, and he wouldn't need to worry about himself. He'd be able to focus all his energy on her.

For now, he focused it on just standing up.
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Ella
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[ *  * ]
Thump.

"Hmmmmmmmmm?" Mary Ann's eyes opened for the first time in several hours. Everything seemed peaceful at the moment, at least in the current location. Stumps littered the landscape, just like where she'd first joined R.J... she yawned, trying to remember why she'd woken u- Oh, right. She would have to work on that reaction time if she wanted to keep living. How had she let her guard down like that? Mary Ann turned over to see a still open box of crackers- Crap, they're probably stale now...- and her partner doubled over in pain, not unlike she had been only hours ago. A half-smile came to her face. She'd been smiling more often over the past day, which was a good thing... well, it wasn't such a good thing to be smiling at his pain. It might not have been anyone besides R.J. waking her up, but hunger was every bit as dangerous as the other students on the island.

"Hey." She shuffled over on her knees, checking the cracker canister for bugs before offering it. "Eat something, ok? We can't be alert if we're hungry." She reached into the canister and ate one herself- "See? Still good. Probably shouldn't leave it open overnight again though."

It was small talk, mostly. She was tired, so whatever came to her mind exited through her mouth immediately. It made her feel better though. She knew he wouldn't answer, but that didn't bother her so much at the moment. She wasn't looking for an answer... just someone to listen as she talked about whatever came to mind.

But of course, now that she really felt like talking, she couldn't think of anything to say. Breakfast was still the only thing on her mind, and she felt that food wasn't the best subject at the moment. She needed something though...

"Oh!" It hit her like a bullet. "Um... last night. You know a lot about guns, right?" Actually, this was probably turning into a bad subject really fast. She continued on anyway, though- "Well, I mean... I was thinking maybe I should learn too. That gun is a lot lighter than that sword, after all."
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Stark
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Nuts.
[ *  *  * ]
((Sorry for shortpost, have had availability problems))

The question caught him off guard, at least at first. He gave her a somewhat quizzical look as he stood, not really sure how to respond. It seemed out of character, coming from her, delicate little altruist that she was. But then, a week ago, would anyone have guessed R.J. himself would be a double murderer? He sure as hell wouldn't. She had a point, too; the gun was easier to handle if you knew how to use one. It was small and accurate, and the recoil was almost negligible. There were more powerful guns out there, but you don't need a Deagle if you can aim a GP6.

Most of all, she needed the protection it provided more than he did.

Sighing wistfully, he gave her a wry smile before drawing the weapon from its makeshift holster in the waistline of his pants. With one hand, he ejected the magazine, swiping it out of the air mid-drop with the other, mostly because it looked cool. He was fairly certain he hadn't chambered a new round, but wanted to be absolutely sure before handing the gun off, so he gripped the barrel of the gun in his teeth so he'd have both hands free to count off what he had in the magazine. Thirteen Parabellum rounds were present and accounted for, and he was 110% sure he'd fired four. Good. He'd reload it later, but for now, they couldn't afford to waste any bullets on practice. He used his shirt to wipe the saliva off the gun, perhaps a futile gesture, as it wasn't much cleaner than his mouth, before handing it off to Mary-Ann.
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[ *  * ]
A weird look. A sigh. A smile. So that was a yes? Sweet.

He took the magazine out of the gun, dropping it and then catching it in midair. Mary Ann couldn't help but release a small giggle- he was showing off and they both knew it. Not that he didn't have the skills to back it up, of course. He'd owned the gun for merely a few days (though it felt much longer), but he handled it with the expert grace of someone who'd had it for years. Combined with the deer from the previous night, the whole thing felt very Little House on the Prairie, but without the dog and the two kids and the wagon and the log cabin and the moral values and whatnot. And the actually cooking the deer part. Actually, they were just a couple in the wilderness, but she could think nice thoughts about it, right?

Soon enough, R.J. finished fiddling and handed the gun to her, seeming to anticipate her doing something with it. She didn't quite know what she would do, but... she was excited. She'd dealt with guns in video games before, but she'd never actually shot one in real life. Perhaps it was this excitement that made boys so giddy about weaponry? Maybe.

Mary Ann took the gun and held it out in front of her with both hands, like she'd seen cops do on TV. She saw a particularly large stump about twenty feet ahead- "How about we aim for that?" She pointed towards the stump.
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Stark
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Nuts.
[ *  *  * ]
He sized up her grip, and let out another sigh. He had work to do, alright.

He approached slowly, motioning with his hands for her to hold still. First things first, he gently removed her index finger from inside the trigger guard. It wasn't loaded, sure, but it never hurt to learn proper trigger discipline. Moreover, the gun didn't have a lot of kick, but it would still be tough to hold steady the way her arms were positioned. He walked around behind her, bending down a bit so their eye levels were even. Even at her height, they were always an impressive mismatch in that regard. He brought his arms around her, straightening out her right arm, leaving the left bent just a bit to support it. His chin over her right shoulder, he couldn't help but think that this was the closest he'd gotten to first base with her, let alone that this was the longest he'd ever waited to do so. Heaven knew she was worth it, though.

He placed his hands on her hips, adjusting her stance a bit so she had her right foot forward. As he did so, he reminded himself he was just teaching her how to shoot. That was it. She was gonna go home, find someone better for her, and live as normal a life as she could. He was just here to make sure that happened. If God wanted anything else of him, neither of them would be here. This was his purpose, right here. Just this. Nothing more.

And you know what?

He could live with that.
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[ *  * ]
She watched for a reaction- no answer, of course; however, he probably would've had a different expression if she was doing it right. That wasn't a problem right now, though. She was inexperienced, he was patient, and for the moment they were alone. He motioned for her to stand still as he approached and began to reposition her. A hand moved here, a foot moved there- Mary Ann had become a mannequin for the time being. A mannequin with a gun, that is. More than that, however... she was being touched. Of course, it wasn't the first time in here entire life that she had been touched. It was just- what in the world was this? It was... different. There was this strange softness as he moved her limbs one by one... so gentle that it paralyzed her. That was for the better, she decided; she wasn't supposed to move anyway.

But of course, it got worse. His face moved closer to hers- he hadn't shaved in almost a week at this point, so whenever it brushed against her it sort of tickled and scratched at the same time, like a cat's tongue. His hands moved to her hips, and-

Whoa. Blood suddenly rushed to Mary Ann's head, leaving her dizzy. She lowered the gun to her side- What the hell was that? She took a couple seconds to straighten herself again; glancing at R.J, she noticed concern in his face.

"I'm fine, really." She felt her cheeks light up like a Christmas tree. His face was still close. "Just sort of... distracted."
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Stark
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Nuts.
[ *  *  * ]
Oh.

Oh shit.

Did she think he-

R.J. sprang straight back when it fully dawned on him how this must have looked to her, when he saw how red her face was, nearly toppling over on his ass as he landed on his heels. His face was just as red as hers about now. Reestablishing his footing, he proceeded to nervously scratch the back of his neck, his eyes wandering over every part of the landscape that wasn't Mary-Ann at the moment. He had to clear this up. He didn't want to die with her last memory of him being him skeeving on her. He couldn't just say anything, though, so he had to think. What would Marcel Marceau do in this situation?

Mime. Duh.

Perking up visibly, R.J. raised a finger in the air, generally a signal that he had an idea. He glanced at Mary-Ann, then down, suggesting that she look thataway, then put his hands on his own hips. Genius, right? He adjusted his stance, putting his right foot forward, paused, remembered once more that she wasn't left-handed, moved it back, brought his left foot forward, put his arms into position, and held his stance long enough for her to get a good look before standing at ease and motioning for her to try it.

He was still blushing, though.
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[ *  * ]
He... jumped back suddenly? What? After seeming to fumble for a few seconds... he continued to demonstrate proper trigger discipline. Oh, right. Mary Ann felt horribly disappointed for reasons she didn't quite understand, but she nodded and steadied herself once again, making her body as identical to his as possible. Training was more important... right?

She stared straight ahead, finding that one forlorn stump again. Once her face felt normal again and she'd been staring at the stupid tree for a good while (did it normally take this long to figure out what the thing was pointing at?), she began to look at the gun again.

"Don't I like, move the one thing back before shooting? On top of it?"
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Stark
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Nuts.
[ *  *  * ]
R.J. simply smiled and shook his head. The mechanism was a semi-auto short recoil, and once it was loaded, she need only pull the trigger. He approached, leaned in, and slid his index finger beneath the trigger guard, pulling the trigger four times to demonstrate. He gave her a thumbs up, then ran off, ducking behind a nearby shrubbery while she wasn't looking.

He checked the ground. There was a vaguely combat knife-sized stick beside him, so he picked it up, and started to move quietly from cover to cover. Attackers could come from anywhere, and he needed to be sure she could react in time to protect herself. Holding the "knife" in a reverse grip, he circled around to her 3 o'clock position, until the moment was just right.

Time to show the world you've got what it takes to survive, sweetheart.
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[ *  * ]
Oh right, it wasn't loaded. She was sort of looking forward to shooting something, but now that she thought of it, that would be a massive waste of ammo.

She kept her eyes and the gun dead on the stump ahead, waiting to get the aim just right- and click. She pulled the trigger and released. The air felt strangely empty without the BANG she should have been hearing, but oh well. Hopefully, she would have hit it. "It's so weird not to-"

What the hell? "Hey, you still there?" This was bad. He was literally just right there. "Hello?!" What if someone was- wait. Crap. No. The gun wasn't loaded. No no no no. They were supposed to wait for her to know what she was doing to attack! She needed to grab the sword. She turned around to get it when HOLY MOTHER OF GOD SOMEONE WAS THERE SHOOT IT SHOOT IT. With a loud shriek, she immediately shut her eyes and clicked in whatever direction she'd seen the attacker- until she realized what she was doing and froze.

Her eyes stayed shut (as though opening them made a difference at this point), but her arms dropped to her sides. This was it. She was surprised she'd lasted this long, actually. She certainly wouldn't have if she'd never found R.J. Even before that... for those last few months of her life, he'd really made things worthwhile, hadn't he? Before then, no one else had ever noticed her the way that he had... even from that first day in the library, there always seemed to be something he noticed about her that she couldn't quite put her finger on. She never quite knew what she was supposed to be doing. But then, he had always been one step ahead, always knowing the way where she didn't- especially here.

Her throat had thickened at this point and she could feel tears coming, but more than anything else, she was noticing that nothing had happened yet. She slowly raised her hands once again, bracing herself against whatever was coming- and as she readied her fingers on the trigger once again, she opened one eye. This is it.
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Stark
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Nuts.
[ *  *  * ]
Considering his size and how little cover fallen logs and scattered shrubs provided, he was surprisingly good at this. He circled back around behind Mary-Ann, who was just as alert as he could have hoped. From her six, he rose to his feet, slowly, silently. He slunk forward a few steps. Carefully. Slowly. Silently. Like a jungle cat stalking a frightened deer.

Panicked high school students, however, would never be so quiet. She didn't need to be prepared for a ninja attack squad. Just scared high schoolers, like her. So he'd give her a little hint. He cracked his neck, and considering how he slept on it, cracked it loudly.

She didn't just need to be prepared, though. She needed to be more than prepared.

He didn't hesitate.

The moment he sounded the alarm, he charged, his massive stride quickly closing the distance between them.

Make me proud.
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