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Stay Frosty
Topic Started: Dec 18 2010, 09:49 AM (3,638 Views)
Sister Grimm
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I am a great biotic wind that will sweep all before me like a... a great wind! A great biotic wind!
[ *  * ]
((Alice Blake continued from Civilization at any Price))

It was a rough night, to say the least. After Vic had dragged her ass to safety, it had been a little back and forth while Vic shuttled the bags from the street to house they'd chosen to bunk down in. Alice had spaced out on the pain killers she'd be given while Vic risked her life recovering supplies. Not surprisingly, she felt quite guilty about that later. But, of course, not at the time. Instead she was a little preoccupied with how awesome she felt. The pain killers made her feel better then she had felt in a good while. It was...a welcome change of pace. A nice enough change that she was sorely tempted to ask for more later in the evening.

Luckily, her back wasn't nearly as bad when they wore off. It might have something to do with the fact she had barely moved after they had settled in. After she'd grabbed the bags from the street, things were almost on an even keel. Of course, Vic had recovered her jacket as well. Could hardly leave that behind, right? She even found Alice a new shirt to replace the bloody and torn one she was presently wearing. It was a black number, a simple t-shirt that was a few sizes too small for her. After that was settled, Vic led her to a corner room on the second floor of a somewhat ramshackle building and eased her onto the bed in the corner. It was hardly the Hilton, but the surroundings were greatly improved by Vic's presence.

While Alice was dozing upstairs, her better half kept watch for Bounce, should things not end up fucked for once. Alice was just coming around when her unexpected guardian came back upstairs. Alice didn't need to ask whether there was any luck finding her friend. One look at Vic's face told her that she was SOL. But that really should have been expected, and Alice found herself cursing Murphy and his damn laws. It put a sour spin on the evening before anything else could happen to screw things up even more. She tried not think about what kept Bounce from meeting up, just like she tried to keep herself from thinking about every horrible thing that might have happened.

Things did tend to level out from there. They talked, Alice exchanging war stories with Vic while her personal medic checked on her injuries. Eventually, they both fell asleep in each others arms. Alice would regret that later, too. It was reckless and dangerous, and it could have gotten them both killed if someone stumbled onto them. They had gotten lucky, no question.

Once light did start to filter in through the window, Alice did feel a measure of relief. Safety from the night and all the monsters it hid. That and another chance to find Bounce. Vic was less optimistic about finding her, but there was no way that Alice would give up if she was supposed to still be in the area. Outside Vic, Bounce was the only friend she had. Like Hell would she give up if there was a chance to find her.

So, Vic checked up on her wounds, changing the bandages and all that, and they made plans to set out. Alice felt better. Not, you know, good as new, but she could walk without aid, albeit stiffly and not without some pain. As much as she liked the idea of being Vic's Knight in Shining Armor, defending her from all that is evil and wrong, that seemed more like wishful thinking now. Her mobility was shot, and she could barely walk on her own. It would have been easier to lean on Vic, but Alice was desperate to project some sense of normalcy, if only to give Vic peace of mind. So, she did her best to hide the occasional grimace of pain, or the sharp intake of breath after a step taken too quickly.

Even though Vic was the one with the gun, Alice still picked the direction. She decided to start at the center of town and work her way around, circling until they found Bounce or ran out of town. As good a plan as any other, right?

Alice lead the way with Vic following a few steps behind. It wasn't long before the reached the clearing and the fountain erected in the center. Alice stopped, waited, listened. Her collar beeped, but that only registered after the fact that there was someone kneeling by the fountain. The solitary beep was momentarily important, but when nothing followed, she decided that it wasn't important. Glancing over her shoulder, she pointed over to the statue. "One person, I think. Careful."

All the same, Alice started forward, ever wary, already expecting this to be some sort of trap. The sudden voice from the speakers made her jump, then freeze. Her attention was still focused on the figure kneeling by the fountain, and she felt a faint stirring of hope. Short hair, small frame, slight figure as best she could tell. If it wasn't her friend, it was a damn near mirror image. "Bounce?" Alice called out as she moved closer, her tone hopeful. She closed the distance and felt a huge weight shift from her shoulders. The taller girl greeted her best friend in much the same way that she greeted Vic, minus the deep and passionate kiss. Alice threw her arms around the Russian girl. Speaking through a broad smile, Alice muttered, "I'm so happy to see you again Bounce."
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass" -Terry Pratchett, The Truth

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Sister Grimm
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I am a great biotic wind that will sweep all before me like a... a great wind! A great biotic wind!
[ *  * ]
Nooot quite the greeting she was expecting. Maybe returning the hug, possibly tearful declarations of how happy she was that they had found each other...something other then getting thrown to the ground amidst hushed but frantic warnings. Alice hadn't really gotten a good look before, so maybe ducking out of sight was justified. Bounce had a very good head on her shoulders, so if she thought this was wise, Alice wouldn't argue. She knew this game better then anyone else. That didn't mean she wouldn't prefer a gentler landing.

In such a rush was she, Bounce didn't bother with where they landed, as long as it was out of sight. Alice's shoulder hit the ground first, followed quickly by the rest of her body and Bounce after that. The most noticeable result of the impact, beside the scraping of the gravel and concrete against her cheek, was the preexisting injury on her back reminding Alice that, 'Hey, I'm still here'. Those stabbing pains that she'd felt every time she moved had died down over the night but she had a feeling that was going to change.

While Bounce rifled pawed through her bag, Alice let loose a stream of curses that would make a sailor blush. Between the grimaces, Alice saw Bounce remove a lighter from her bag. While she was taking a gander, Alice's eyes also lit upon the bright red of a gas can. Didn't take Sherlock Holmes to connect the dots. It also didn't take a detective to realize that such a ploy was, at best, unlikely to work.

Still lying in the prone position Bounce had thrown her in, Alice rolled onto her stomach and shifted her weight to her elbow. It freed up her other hand to snatch the light from Bounce before she could do something foolish. "Let's not, okay?" She stuffed the lighter into her pocket and climbed into a crouch before peering over the edge of the fountain toward the other group. She recognized one as Colin Falcone, but the rest not so much. They didn't look hostile, but Alice wouldn't take the chance now that Bounce was here too. Her hand went to her waistband, where she expected to find a revolver only to remember that Vic had recovered it while she was doped. A quick glance over her shoulder toward they way they had come was enough to know that Vic was safe and lying low.

She had to do something, even if was just make sure they weren't hostile. One of them was talking now, calling out and trying to put them at ease. Fat chance of that. With a pained grunt, Alice climbed to her feet, using the fountain ledge as support. "Just, stay here, okay? If something happens, get to Vic and run." This was stupid and reckless. That much was painfully clear, even as she broke cover and walked into the open. They could just be waiting for someone to be stupid enough to reveal themselves, then they'd make a move. It sounded like a trick, at any rate. Even if that was true, she had to protect Bounce. There weren't any other alternatives.

"We don't have anyone's bag and we're not looking for other people. Go your way and we'll go ours. Just leave us alone." Concise and to the point. They weren't looking for company, please fuck off. Simple. Maybe her screwed up appearance would scare them off. Her face was dirty, the right side of her head was matted, and her arm was covered in a few layers of dried blood with even more visible if she lost her shirt. And who said that spending time getting shot and beaten didn't do wonders for your looks?
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass" -Terry Pratchett, The Truth

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Sister Grimm
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I am a great biotic wind that will sweep all before me like a... a great wind! A great biotic wind!
[ *  * ]
Really, she shouldn't have been surprised. Someone not listening to reason, a question, nay, a plea to keep things civil falling on deaf ears? Why, it was the norm here. Quite possibly the norm everywhere, but everywhere else it didn't seem to matter, did it? Elsewhere things didn't end up like this, with guns drawn and people just waiting for a fight. Really, she shouldn't have been surprised. After all, her time on the island hadn't shown much evidence to the contrary.

Now that she was closer, she realized that she didn't really know any of the boys standing before her, at least on a first name basis. One she vaguely recognized as Jacob Charles, another Falcone something. But those two seemed to fade into unimportance compared to the one with the gun. That wasn't to say the other two weren't dangerous, just not as much so. Focusing on the clear and present danger and all that.

There was a chance, as slim as it might seem, that things could be ended peacefully. Considering the alternative, that was the outcome she liked to think was more likely. The gun wasn't aimed at anyone, so that was nice. It also didn't seem like the other two were happy about the gun being brought into play, so this didn't seem to be something they made a habit of. Or it could be an act to try and put them at ease. It'd be easier to assume this was just a misunderstanding, but that kind of assumption could get them both killed. No, it would be smarter to stay sharp, to stay ready.

She heard Bounce calling after her, followed by rapid footsteps and the sound of her friend drawing closer. As much as Alice would have preferred that she stay in cover, it was nice to know that she didn't want Alice standing alone. At least Vic was still staying hidden. One problem at a time. Alice shifted once Bounce drew close, standing between the smaller girl and the boy with the gun. Probing, her hand found the other girls before giving it a reassuring squeeze before letting go.

Now, about the impasse they found themselves at...Alice's eyes narrowed at the boy in question. He was the one who put things in a position to escalate. There was still the fact that he wasn't pointing the gun at them, so it at least gave credence to the idea that he was just playing it safe. Now, Alice, play it safe. Don't make things worse. Just, be friendly. "Put your gun away and go back the way you came. We'll go back the way we came. No one gets hurt. Simple as that." That was friendly, right? Friendly-ish? Close enough.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass" -Terry Pratchett, The Truth

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Sister Grimm
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I am a great biotic wind that will sweep all before me like a... a great wind! A great biotic wind!
[ *  * ]
Well, colour her surprised. She didn't actually think that whole 'back down or else' thing would work. Maybe because she didn't add in an overt threat? Whatever the reason or rationale, she wasn't complaining. A chance to get out of this without Bounce or Vic getting hurt? Yeah, sure, sign her up. Especially if it meant she didn't have to take a bullet for anyone. Once was, yeah, once was enough for her to decide that was no fun. The fact that Tim was backing down was proof enough not everyone on the island was as crazy as Raidon.

All the same, she'd wait for Tim to join his friends in leaving before returning to Vic. It wasn't that she didn't trust him, it was just, well, she didn't trust him. She didn't care what he did or where he went, as long as it didn't interfere with her group. Alice just wanted him gone, before he did something stupid with that gun of his. To be fair, he seemed pretty level-headed, but taking a chance on someone with a gun was hardly conducive to long term survival.

She watched the group trickle away, one by one. First Jacob, then Colin, and finally Tim. Until they were out of sight, Alice remained where she was, standing directly between Bounce and danger. Only when the whole group dropped out of sight did Alice turn to Bounce and flash her a relieved smile. "I'm happy with how that worked out, aren't you?"

She cast a surreptitious glance over her shoulder just to make sure Tim wasn't trying something by doubling back before turning back to Bounce. "So, how about we try that greeting again? Minus the tackling?" Alice rolled her shoulder before wincing at the pain that caused and remembering to never do that again. She threw her arm around Bounce, hugging her for a second before letting go and stepping back. "I am really glad to see you again, Bounce. It's great to see a friendly face." The taller girl stepped around Bounce and started toward the road Vic was crouching on last she saw her. "I'll grab Vic and we can head somewhere a little less populous. What do you think? Sounds good?"

Well, that would have been the plan, if Vic was where she was supposed to be. Alice stepped onto the street where Vic had been hiding and felt something that could only be dread. Of course, there was no cause for alarm, she was probably just, maybe, hiding in a building or something? She saw Tim with his gun and didn't want to risk him getting spooked when he saw a third person, so she hid. The jacket on sidewalk, her jacket, that was probably just a marker or something. Right?

Alice took a tentative step toward her jacket, feeling the first stirring of fear behind the dread. "Vic? It's safe, you can come out now." She called out, her eyes darting back and forth for some sign or indication of where Vic was hiding. Because the alternative, that Vic had ran off, was too painful to even bear thinking about. Well, maybe she could have been attacked? Sure, she had time to take off her jacket before she was killed without the Mexican stand-off happening a stone's throw away hearing.

"Vic, it's okay, it's me. Come on." Alice called out again, trying to write off the tremble in her voice as her imagination. She had to be around here somewhere, she just had to be! But she wasn't, and Alice knew it. She was, God, she was gone. She'd left Alice behind. But that was, it was impossible. Vic loved her, there was no way that she'd leave. Yet that was exactly what happened. Alice felt sick. Sick and angry and betrayed and hurt. She wanted to scream or cry, she wasn't sure which was more likely.

But she couldn't do any of those things, as much as she wanted to. She was trembling, shaking, but she forced herself to steady. If she was alone, she could wallow in self-pity as much as she wanted to. But she wasn't alone. Bounce was here now, and relying on her. Alice choked back a sob as she recovered her jacket. She tried not to think of Vic wearing it not long ago as she put it back on. She especially tried not to think of Vic getting hurt because she wasn't there to protect her.

With all the resolve she could muster, Alice pulled herself together and returned to Bounce. With a forced calm on her voice, Alice said, "Vic's gone. Where should we head next?"
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass" -Terry Pratchett, The Truth

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Sister Grimm
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I am a great biotic wind that will sweep all before me like a... a great wind! A great biotic wind!
[ *  * ]
Alice felt numb. Well, she didn't feel anything, but that was numb. Well, she didn't feel anything outside a faint ache in her chest. But she really didn't want to think about that now. Didn't want to think about anything actually. Because that would sooner or later, much more likely sooner, lead back to Vic. Vic, who Alice had trusted with her life, Vic, who Alice would have gladly died for, running away. God, she hoped it was something as simple as that. Fear, while not exactly a ray of sunshine, was understandable. At least it wasn't like Vic was waiting for a chance to leave. Right?

All the same, feelings of abandonment and guilt managed to push through that comfortable numbness. Now that she was over that initial shock of finding that her love was gone, her mind had time to run wild with ideas concerning the why. Maybe she saw Alice as an albatross? A weakness, or a liability? Someone to be taken advantage of, then tossed aside? It was funny, in a way that wasn't funny in the least. Vic had promised that she wouldn't leave. She hadn't, to be fair. Not in the way she meant at the time. That was little consolation, though.

Bounce was speaking, then. Alice made herself listen, even if all she wanted to do was find Vic. Logical, reliable Bounce. Now, Bounce was great. Alice liked her, loved her even. She was, after all, her only friend in the world. But that part of Alice that wasn't M.I.A. wondered if Bounce would die to throw in some compassion? Alice listened, her eyes drifting back to the street where they'd left Vic. Logical, reliable Bounce. Always planning, always thinking ahead. Even if Alice was holding out for a reassuring word, she would concede that it was appreciated that Bounce at least had her head in the game.

But that wouldn't do, would it? Bounce might be the brains of that outfit, but Alice was the muscle. She couldn't just coast along, no matter how much she might want to. Vic was, Vic was gone. On her own. Bounce was right, naturally. She'd left of her own accord, and she knew exactly what she was doing. It wouldn't do any good to go looking after her. She clearly didn't want to be found. As worried as Alice was about her safety, at least she was armed. There were 5 bullets left in the revolver, so at least she wasn't defenseless.

Alice looked away from the street and back to Bounce, offering a slight nod. She was, if not 100%, ready to move on. More then ready to get the hell out of here. "The sawmill sounds fine."

Before falling into step next to Bounce, Alice cast one last look over her shoulder at the street. She was hoping to see Vic walking towards them, guilty and feeling a change of heart. But, of course, no. Vic was gone, probably long gone by the time Alice noticed. It was the best she could do to hope that they might be up again in the future. For now, it was Alice and Bounce. Survival of the Fittest, look out.

((Alice Blake, continued in Make Your Own Kind of Music))
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass" -Terry Pratchett, The Truth

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