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Shaker; (Ask first please)
Topic Started: Jan 1 2011, 07:35 PM (1,467 Views)
Namira
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((Jessie continued from Cool Ranch))


It was a fluke, really. The biggest of all possible freak chances. Searching for one person, not finding them. Getting found instead, even. And... well, selfishly... I didn't care about Liz Polanski at that moment. She deserved the attention of every last person on the island, and for the right reasons, not the Danya reasons.

From me, in the warehouse... well, she didn't get it.

I feel guilty, but I'm not a saint. I think I can be permitted the odd lapse. Especially for...



~*~


Jessie didn't feel as if she was making very much progress. Nix that, she didn't feel like she was making any progress. Irrationally, she'd somehow been expecting to be able to do the right thing straight away, find Liz Polanski after just a little searching, stop other people from doing the selfish thing. Needless to say, it hadn't worked out like that. Jessie tried to will her frustration away. Nobody ever said that finding one person on an island of more than 200 (...less by now? Jessie didn't want to consider that) would be easy.

But it was a little disheartening, either way. Every moment was vital, so by definition, everywhere Jessie explored without finding Liz was taking valuable time off the clock. If one of her fellows didn't try to kill the girl first, then Jessie was entirely sure that Danya would have something to say in the matter. The announcement on the previous day had made that crystal clear. He'd detonated four collars over that day, just as a threat...

If Jessie were some kind of psycho, she'd be considering taking out Liz to stop herself coming up in the roulette. But no... the girl was doing the only thing she could. Rebelling. That was worth it. She wasn't causing death for the sake of herself... she was causing it for the sake of wrecking the game. Jessie hated to use the 'ends justify the means' argument... down that route lay untold evil. The ends didn't justify the means, but in the situation they were in, it was a damn sight better than the other ends.

As Jessie approached the set of buildings, she stopped dead. They looked like warehouses. Was she wandering straight into a dangerzone? The hockey captain winced and put a hand to her head. She was running on empty after a sleepless night. Not bunking down had been pretty stupid, but she'd forced herself through the tired haze to keep searching. That train of thought was interrupted by the characteristic sound of the announcements.

Jessie sagged a little. It was still happening. ...Well, she hardly had a reason to expect it all to stop, but...

Her eyes glistened slightly. Jessie bowed her head, dropped to one knee and clasped her hands.

Eyes slide shut.

"Hail Mary, full of grace, the lord is with thee..."
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(Imraan Al-Hariq continued from Keep Yourself Alive)

Jessie wasn't the only student on the island who'd had a sleepless night.

The night had passed slowly. Several times Imraan had checked his watch, incredulous at how few hours or minutes had passed since he'd last done so. He'd spent most of the time wandering blankly through the woods and shoreline of the eastern half of the island, unsure of what he was looking for. He'd found bodies. They gravitated to him, it seemed. Occasionally he'd seen, but not approached, other students moving in the background.

Around 3:00 he'd had his chance. A student, one whose name he remembered from the announcements, was just lying there in the woods, asleep. Their bag had been open beside them, and Imraan figured that they hadn't planned on falling asleep out in the open like that. More likely they'd just stopped for a rest, and ended up passing out. Just in time for him to come strolling by.

Imraan crouched there for ten minutes, weighing the shotgun in his hands and the decision in his mind, before straightening up and continuing to walk.

It was easier, he decided, to assume that God was testing him through this. Not by putting his entire class into SOTF of course, Imraan wasn't egocentric enough to believe that; just in the situations He'd led him into the past few days. If he was being tested, in the specific cases of Ivan and the other student, Imraan didn't know if he was passing or failing. But overall? He'd let people die. And he'd let killers go free. That was about the long and short of it, and that was certainly a failure. He'd known in advance that people would be relying on him to be strong, as far back as the first day by the truck he'd known that. And he hadn't been strong.

So what now? On one level Imraan knew that he couldn't just keep beating himself up like this. It was masochistic and senseless and self-defeating. But he didn't what other road he could possibly take. Stop trying? Go off in the woods and just wait for death or whatever fate might find him there? It just didn't seem possible. He couldn't stop his path even if he failed every step of the way. It was like he was a broken wind-up toy or something, doomed to march onwards and on, watching the rest of his class die or kill until he was finally put out of his misery.

By the time the sun was rising again, Imraan had made his way back to the northern part of the island. He saw the warehouse rising close by. It was as good a place as any to go next, he supposed. There was brief, irrational urge to run down to the building, kick the door open and just run inside screaming, firing his shotgun into the air for no reason whatsoever. Imraan smiled a bit at that. Giving in to the game had a certain appeal to it. You wouldn't have to feel bad about yourself; you wouldn't have to feel anything, really. It was the easiest way out possible.

Of course, what Imraan actually did was walk down to the building at a normal pace, keeping the shotgun pointed at the ground. "Hello? Anyone there?"

"Hail Mary, full of grace, the lord is with thee..."

He turned the corner and found her there by the entrance.

"Jessie?"
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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Namira
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Somebody said her name. Jessie tripped over the prayer's words, the voice triggering off a thousand and one alarms. But in a good way. Maybe the best way possible. ...Well, the best way possible given the situation. Never mind.

'Hail Mary' forgotten in the blink of an eye, Jessie was on her feet in an instant, whirling around so fast she was at a risk of whiplash. It was him. It was really him. Imraan. Her best friend, more or less. The guy she'd been wanting to find ever since... ever since she'd heard about DK. Earlier, even. It didn't matter.

Throwing all caution and any kind of suspicion to the wind, Jessie ran to her friend and wrapped him in a hug that was so fervant and desperate to as probably be bonecrunching. Jessie had always been strong, and given her downright muscular build, she always underestimated how powerful she actually was. Not that Jessie would ever throw a punch in anger, but it had led to some hellacious hits in hockey that had made even her wince.

"Thank the Lord, thank the Lord Almighty. Imraan I've... I've needed you so badly over the last couple of days," Jessie leaned her forehead against Imraan's chest. "Please... please don't leave me."
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Imraan did have a chance to respond before Jessie wrapped her arms around him. He just didn't know what he could possibly say. "Good to see you?" "I heard about Dan, sorry?" "Hey Jessie, I wanted to say that I love you?"

Yeah. Some things were better left unsaid. So he dropped the shotgun and let her grab him.

"Whoa!"

Her grip was more than strong, it was startling, and he hadn't been expecting that. She actually drove him back a couple feet, and it was only when his back bumped against the outside wall that he knew she wasn't going to bowl him right over. But he couldn't ask her to let up just yet, so he just folded his long arms around Jessie as well and let her lay her head on his chest.

Now what?

At first he wanted to... heck, he didn't know. Break down and confess everything to her, all of his failures over the last couple days and how he needed her. He was feeling badly overwhelmed, nearly hyperventilating himself; he expected to let all the pain flow out from him, leaving him a wreck, begging her to tell him what to do next, but-

I've... I've needed you so badly over the last couple of days,"

-SHE was the one who needed him, of course.

"Jessie..."

Shouldn't he have seen that coming? Of course he should have.

And while he was still trying to sort out his emotions, realizing that he couldn't just unload all his self-pity onto Jessie, realizing that she felt she needed him as much as he needed her, he smiled.

It was a real smile, his first real smile since he'd woken up days ago, and it felt good. And it was for himself as much as it was for Jessie. He was actually feeling happy to have found her, and that feeling had become so unfamiliar to him that it rose up, tossing everything else aside for now.

His breath seemed to come easier, even though she still had a death grip on him, and he could respond.

"Jessie, ah God it is GOOD to see you, girl. It's OK, it's OK, I'm not gonna go anywhere."

It wasn't OK, of course. He almost laughed at that.

"Alright, it's not OK, but we'll make due. We'll make due."

That was it. Maybe later on he could unload all his baggage onto her. Maybe not. But for now, Imraan was content to forget about all that and be happy. Leave the past few days in the past. He had Jessie, and who knew? Maybe things would start looking up from here.

"Uh, can you let up on your grip a bit, Jess? Just a, uh, bit?"
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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Namira
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Jessie, for a few moments, felt the tears welling up in her eyes. For Imraan to actually be here, in the flesh... not some kind of cruel mirage or dream (and on those rare occasions she'd snatched sleep, Jessie had dreamed of seeing both Imraan and DK), it was incredible and in many ways, almost too good to be true. She wanted to cry for everything that had happened, for what had happened to DK, for just... finding her friend, at long last.

But she wouldn't let herself. It wouldn't be fair to Imraan, not in the slightest. Hadn't he gone through the same things as she'd done? Heck, Imraan was in GODspeed, half of them were already dead, and Rachel herself had apparently gone the path of so many others and degenerated into murder. Crying wouldn't be fair on him at all. Jessie couldn't let any tears out, for his sake... she had to hold it together, stay strong.

It'd just be... selfish to do otherwise.

When Jessie looked up from Imraan's chest, she was dry-eyed. She managed a smile, which dropped when she heard his request.

"Oh oh! I'm sorry, I wasn't thinking at all," she loosened up... slightly, only really to the point where she wasn't in danger of imminently crushing Imraan's ribs. She didn't want to let go for a second.

"Is it... is it wrong of me to feel like things are okay now?" Jessie ventured tentatively, after a short while. "...I feel like it should be wrong."

So many people dead... DK included. Finding a moment of happiness seemed almost criminal when everyone around her was suffering.
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Imraan breathed out once Jessie released her grip on him. He leaned his head back against the warehouse and looked up at the sky, letting the moment last. He let one big hand brush against Jessie's long red hair for a second, before settling it on her back. Jessie obviously didn't want to let go just yet. Neither did he.

When he dropped his head, Jessie was looking up at him again.

"Nah, it... it's not wrong, Jessie." He laughed softly. "Heck, I was thinking the exact same thing. I mean, these last few days, I've seen these kids, people I thought I knew, just... just losing it, and then the announcements, and..."

Imraan trailed off. No. Now was not the time to get into what had happened in the past. He'd found Jessie, he'd found the one person he needed to find more than anything else. He was NOT going to waste this opportunity by rehashing everything he'd gone through to get here.

Forget Ivan, forget Maxwell, heck, forget Danya for a minute. Just focus on HER.

"And.... I heard about DK. So no way, it's not wrong to think that, Jessie. Seriously. Seeing you OK, it's the best thing that's happened to me here. I mean that."

Maybe he could just forget about all the crap that had happened before this morning. They could start over, right now. Imraan didn't know if he'd be able to, but for Jessie? He thought he'd try.

Jessie's grip had let up a bit more, and he took advantage, letting his back slide down the wall until he was sitting with his knees drawn up in front of him. He motioned Jessie to sit down as well.

"Look, why don't we just stay here for a bit, OK? We can just talk some, get some rest, maybe figure out what to do a little while later?
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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Namira
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((Not that great, just moving along I'll fill in some more tomorrow))

And ultimately, that was what they turned out doing.

~

It was a good day. Well as good, in any case, as any day on the island could really be. Jessie knew that it was self-indulgent, a little selfish, even, but... they could both be dead tomorrow. As much as Jessie didn't want to consider that or even think about the fact that Imraan could die (not that there wasn't a dose of worry for herself mixed in)... It was a possibility that was all too evident. Too real.

It had already taken DK from her... Jessie wasn't going to waste the opportunity.

What did they talk about? Everything. Nothing. Anything that wasn't here, that wasn't their situation. Back home. Stories, anecdotes, even though they'd both told one another everything there was to know about each other a long time ago. But it didn't matter, not a bit. It was escapism, to an extent... and that didn't matter either.

Just that they got a day.

~

At length, Jessie sighed and looked down to the floor. The sun was setting, the sight a welcome distraction from reality... but one that had to be cast aside.

"Imraan... we need to go. I... I want to find Liz Polanski. Protect her, in any way I can. I know we had that announcement about staying away from her, and I know that they... blew some collars. But... that just tells me that they're scared of what she's done. If there's a loophole, there must be others. Other people must be able to find a way around the system. But me? No... I'm no scientist, I can't do anything like that. So... that's why important to me that the people who can't protect the people who can. Right now, Liz is that person. I know looking for one person in this entire island is a big ask, but... we found each other, right? I'm not... actually you know what? I am. I am asking you to come with me. I don't want to get separated, I ... don't think we'd ever find each other again. So I'm asking, Imraan, I'm asking you for your help. If you... if you can't, or have somebody else to look for, or other priorities then... well, I'll trust your judgement. But... this is what I'm doing, Imraan. Come along? Please?"

Jessie picked herself up, shouldered her bag.

"Don't even say anything... just... follow or don't."

Determined, she set off.

"I don't want to say goodbye."

((Jessie concluded in May the Lord Accept This Sacrifice at Our Hands))
Edited by Namira, Feb 13 2011, 06:59 PM.
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(mostly just to get Imraan in the next thread)

Ultimately, he was still just a high school kid. He knew he looked a lot older than that (and at nearly a week without shaving, probably even moreso), but he was still only 18 years old, and that was why Imraan couldn't tell Jessie anything more, anything deeper. They were both still kids, they'd probably have ended up going their separate ways after graduation, and, of course, this island was neither the time nor the place for him to tell Jessie that. It wouldn't have been fair to her.

But, he considered as the sun set, that was OK. Just being with Jessie, with her as his FRIEND, was something good. It had helped her, and it had helped him, and even though Imraan knew he hadn't done enough for others on this island so far, at least he'd done something.

Of course, he could still beat himself up over what he hadn't done. Given the last couple announcements, GODSpeed was down to, what now? Him, Bobby, and Sapphire? Oh, and Rachel of course. He didn't know if he'd failed by allowing Tiffany, or Maddy, or anyone else to die out there, or if there had just been nothing he could have done about it. And he had deep feelings that it was more the former than it was the latter. But that was just the way he was, wasn't it? And what could he really do?

Then Jessie began talking about Liz Polanski. About finding her.

That just might be something.

She didn't need to ask for his help.

(Imraan Al-Hariq continued in May The Lord Accept This Sacrifice at Our Hands)
Edited by D/N, Feb 20 2011, 02:05 AM.
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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