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Could Have Been Worse
Topic Started: Jan 5 2011, 03:58 PM (3,577 Views)
T-Fox
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N-Nopony! Ah was talkin' to nopony whatsoever!
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
((Jacquard Broughten continued from When My Fist Clenches, Crack it Open.))

Her leg was absolutely killing her. After Aaron had fired his weapon and ran off, Li had decided it would be a good idea to follow and give him a piece of her mind. Over the course of the trip, the pain she felt became worse and worse. At first Li didn't seem fazed, as if her section of her mind (wow, she really did sound insane) was the only one comprehensive of pain. After what felt like hours, her vision faded, darkened, and eventually became black. Apparently however this didn't affect Li all that much, because when she finally came to at the twilight of either the evening or the morning, she was in a completely different spot. By this point, Li had apparently began to feel the effects of their injury. Her leg throbbing like a heated sun was contained within it's sinew, Li had began to limp.

Good. That could be Aaron's chance to get away. Apparently Li wasn't logic incarnate like she had originally thought once control of her body was relinquished. That really gave someone a lot of time to think when their leg wasn't throbbing in pain, the fire surrounding her mind and choking her thoughts.

Either way. If they were slowing down, Aaron and his crew probably hadn't. And if that were the case, then she would probably never see him again. For the best.

They seemed to be lost in some... woods. Just like before. But she could tell it was different. The pain in her leg was like an odometer, marking that she had traveled so far while she was unconscious. Thought struggled to come, and she could hear the labored breath echoing through the trees as she was forced in some direction to some destination. There was a little bit of chatter behind her, some that she couldn't quite decipher. How did these others know how all this worked already when she herself didn't? Wouldn't it stand to reason that they only had the knowledge she did, at the very least starting at their time of inception?

Instinctively from the pain, she did what she would always do. Reach down to to rub the throbbing limb. However while her head didn't actually move, and her arm didn't either, she still felt her palm contact her thigh. Not a phantom feeling, she actually felt real contact. Time for a little experiment. Just thinking and remembering the muscle motions required, she took a step back. And another. It was almost as if she was on some strange treadmill, trapped in her own mind. She closed her eyes, and spun on her heel.

---

Somewhere out in the woods, Li was lost. Sure, she had followed that cocky little freak for quite some time, but she couldn't coop all the pain in that idiot Jackie's portion of the mindscape for that long. The dull ache that she felt that had finally spilled over was more than enough to make her slow down. Just enough for Aaron and Aileen to get away. Li wanted nothing more than to destroy whatever little plan he had going. Aaron was a planner, and if he had followers, that would spell trouble later when he inevitably became a player and used his little peons to fight his way out of here. She had to destroy him and everything he stood for fast, before he had that chance.

If only this damn leg would stop hurting for a few hours.

She had been going in what was probably circles for the better part of two hours by now. Near the tail end of it, she had heard the hosts's thoughts slowly beginning to pop back up.

"Wait, I feel it. What the hell? Hang on, if I... Okay, that worked..."

The lack of concentration paying attention to her antics brought Li almost brought her face to face with a tree trunk. She skidded short, almost falling, her mouth letting out an involuntary "Eep!", the pitch cutting through the silence. There were no landmarks to speak of, and without a watch or Jackie's cell phone, she had no idea what side of the sky the Moon was supposed to be in. So bearings were non-existant. But if she were to ever find Aaron she couldn't stop now, he'd get away and the island was just plain too large to let that happen.

After another fifteen or so minutes of aimless wandering, a voice was heard. Nothing but a stroke of luck, a miracle of sorts.

"Shut the fuck up!"

Heh, bingo.

---

Suddenly, Jackie was no longer seeing through her own eyes. A little bit of a disconcerting thought, but what she saw took her breath away. Suddenly, before her stood a beautiful, vast landscape, one that she didn't yet realize was of her mind's own creation. A small lake in the center gave way to five small, quaint houses. Two small ones on either side, and one grander one which reminded her quite a bit of her own home. The land looked as if it were a large farmland, neatly trimmed grass with the occasional tree dotting the landscape.

"We wondered how long it would take you to figure it out."

The voice seemed snarky, but most importantly, it was disembodied. Her eyes went wide, darting to and fro trying to locate the source.

"Right here, you idiot."

The last place she had expected the voice to come from, especially after looking there as she emerged from whatever viewing plate on which she stood, was directly in front of her. A boy, who couldn't be more than 15 was standing in front of her, red hair cut short, freckles adorning his pale face.

"I'm shocked you've lived this long. Not that happy either. Look around, if you die, you'll be stuck here for the rest of your days. Would that really be that bad? You'd be doing the world a favor too."

"W-Where is this even?"

This was something far greater than she could rationalize on a whim as she once used to. Combine that with the fact that her leg was distracting her full potential, and she was relegated to doing nothing but asking questions, something she hated to do, and always had.

"It's the mindscape. You didn't think we didn't have a home, did you? Look, there's even one for you."

Suddenly and without warning, a beautiful older woman with shining golden hair, and a pair of feathered wings began to emerge from the lake in the middle of the landscape she had been taking the entire time to behold; ignoring this pasty little chump in favor of the bigger picture. Nekane had an annoyed look on his face, but Cassarrah's was one of welcoming.

Jackie's feet almost directed her own movement, although this lack of control was familiar unlike Li's. There was an entire place she could escape from the world... Lock the door and never have to deal with the realities of Survival of the Fittest, leave her guilt behind...

---

Li was panting, but she had found the source of the voices. Indeed, it was Aaron, although he hadn't been the idiot to scream like that. Aileen, Aaron, and Milo. The group had been cut down quite a bit from before. Apparently having heard a pair of killer's names on the announcements was all that was really needed to break up this apparently thinly allied group.

"What now, leader-bro?"

She was only a few trees away, just barely able to see the rustling and moving of human forms in the distance, crouching, she stifled a groan of agony as her leg protested it's current abuse.

"If only Jackie remembered to take some fucking advil on this trip..."

It was almost infuriating knowing that she really had no say on her induction into this world. While she shared her memories and experiences with Jackie, she still hadn't had the say, or even the mind to argue with any of her packing decisions.

Either way, she crouched, ignoring the dull ache that was quickly beginning to fire up, waiting and watching to see what the trio would do before moving forward to use the greatest weapon she had; something that idiot Jackie abandoned upon committing the only logical act on this island. Her logic, and intelligence.

She was going to rip Aaron apart in a battle of wits, and leave him mentally battered and broken. Just like he deserved.
Edited by T-Fox, Jan 22 2011, 11:03 AM.
Coming soon to a deathmatch near you:
Garry Brooks - Swave Countryboy
Jade Aurora - Tomboy Drummer
Jasmine Tolle - Pacifistiic Artist

Memories of those past:
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T-Fox
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N-Nopony! Ah was talkin' to nopony whatsoever!
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Li was completely unsupervised in what could be considered a player's playground, but a sane girl's nightmare. Aaron, Aileen, and Milo were only 50 feet in front of her, and even though when watching Jackie was still powerless with her rudimentary understanding of what was really happening in her inner turmoil, Li was still completely and utterly unsupervised.

Thankfully, the girl who had been born four days before, a figment, the small, Vietnamese girl with pigtails in her own mind and heart, apparently didn't share Jackie's tolerance or acclimation to the pain of a crippled leg.

Sitting against a tree, rubbing that cursed leg, she sat. She listened to every single word, drinking in the information that they so happily and readily fed her. Assess the situation. There was obviously turmoil inside their group. Aileen was not happy with Aaron for his stunt a few hours ago. That and the group had considerably shrunk, so she could infer that his cowardly tactics had actually managed to lose him some followers.

That made her debate whether or not she really needed to speak up to make Aaron's 'plan' fall apart.

However, Milo sounded like nothing but a loyal lapdog, a hired gun, a mindless mook to Aaron's scheme. While she doubted that logic could pander to the bumbling fool, she probably could win Milo's loyalty by spreading paranoia and fear born from convincing Aileen that staying with Aaron wasn't in her best interests.

Unfortunately though, it looks like Aaron had seated it in his group's mind that she was a player, a pre-existing killer. Whether or not that was true (and that fact was seriously up for debate), it was a bad thing to have that reputation roaming the island here. She needed allies, she needed a lap dog to order and help her. With this cursed leg, she couldn't win. She knew she couldn't win. She needed to outsmart everyone else, not out-gun them. Although a little of both wouldn't be the worst idea in the world.

There were some gentle grumblings in the back of her head that she couldn't quite make out. Jackie's presence was gone, so she had probably just discovered the mindscape. That meant Li probably had a few hours of a window where she could do and say as she wanted with no supervision, no help, no scoldings. Like a little giddy fifteen year old schoolgirl who had found her first cigarette, she grinned. Her opportunity was now, she just needed to get up.

Wait.

Didn't the first aid kit have some asprin?

She rifled as quietly as she could through her bag, however the occasional clank or rustle made itself known. The first aid kit opened surprisingly quickly, and within a moment the aspirin were downed.

Okay. Just a few minutes... Just a few minutes. Then it's time.
Coming soon to a deathmatch near you:
Garry Brooks - Swave Countryboy
Jade Aurora - Tomboy Drummer
Jasmine Tolle - Pacifistiic Artist

Memories of those past:
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What is wrong with you people?!
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T-Fox
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N-Nopony! Ah was talkin' to nopony whatsoever!
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
((I have found a reliable way around traffic filtering at work, so let there be posts!))

The aspirin was finally starting to take effect. The pain in Jackie- Li's leg was finally beginning to numb. It was sore to stand on, and she hoped that the hissing noise that managed to make it's way from her mouth, through clenched teeth wouldn't be loud enough to give away her presence; at least not until she was ready to make her grand entrance. Thankfully something a lot louder decided to act like the moron it is, that Milo kid stared screaming and hemming and hawing, calling her "Jac-tard", as if that was some modicum of clever. Li rolled her eyes.That was just beyond ridiculous; and it was a pretty safe assumption that he actually had some kind of mental deficiency. That was one thing that both Jackie and Li would agree on, if the pair were to ever actually have a civil discussion. Stupidity was in-excusable. If a kid had an actual mental issue that prevented him from comprehending the world, then it was more of a pity. Jackie hated Aaron for his attitude and and incredible lack of adaptability. Well, she used to. Lie did. But Milo? Milo had to know by day 7 that yelling out for an assumed killer to "bring it on" was a bad idea... if he could comprehend that at all.

And as such, a mental tic-mark to leave poor Milo alone.

There were only a few trees between her and her mark, so she bore the pain that radiated through her body with each and every step that she took.

Owowowow...

Taking a deep breath, and doing her absolute best to imitate Jackie's normal voice, she began to speak.

"Hey. I have a question for you Aaron. How the hell did you end up being leader of this group?"

In fact, it was close to a perfect imitation. There was a slight variation in stress on certain parts of the word, but it was something that almost no one that wasn't close to her would notice. In fact, the only person who really even had a shot in the dark of noticing beyond Jackie's parents was Aaron. He had heard Jackie at her loudest and most argumentative a number of times. And that was exactly where Li was heading.

"You are the leader here, right? I mean, I can't imagine why anyone would follow you. Unless of course you were promising these poor people something."

Her eyes flashed back and forth from face to face. Aileen, Milo, and Claire. Each and every one of them was probably at the bes apprehensive of her presence. She had even heard Aaron label her as a killer.

"Don't worry. I'm not here to hurt anyone." Her hand slid down to the hacksaw which still dangled at her side, still glistening in the reflection of the sun that filtered through the dense forest canopy above them. The saw fell to the forest floor, bouncing off of a rock with a dull clang, as the hand went back to her side. "Not yet at least." She motioned to Aaron with her head. "You're way too fun to kill." Menacing and threatening. But at the same time, it should allay their fears that her only weapon lie on the ground. Perfect., keep control of the situation.

"The only reason I can gather that anyone would let you even lead them to the grocery store is because you're promising them something. I know you have a gun, but still, let's face it. You're Aaron. There's no way I'd follow you for a promise of safety. So, that leave me one logical thought. You're deluding these poor souls into thinking you can get them off the island. So is that it Aaron? Are you surrounding yourself with meatsheilds with promises of freedom?"

She cocked her brow. Even if he did have an escape plan, this would still make him absolutely tweak. Just like chess. Think two moves ahead, and Hughes lose his shit. She smiled.

"C'mon Aaron... Don't keep us waiting. What's the big idea?

He was just so much fun to fuck with.
Coming soon to a deathmatch near you:
Garry Brooks - Swave Countryboy
Jade Aurora - Tomboy Drummer
Jasmine Tolle - Pacifistiic Artist

Memories of those past:
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What is wrong with you people?!
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T-Fox
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N-Nopony! Ah was talkin' to nopony whatsoever!
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Well... Shit. Li hadn't even comprehending the idea that Aaron would be able to adapt to her presence, her attack. He always did thing so according to plan... He always lost his shit when the plan went wrong. He couldn't have planned for his old rival, and one of the killers on the island to show up. Unfortunately, the conclusion as to why he was able to deal with it so well was so painfully obvious. His female partner there. Milo wasn't helping him in any way but a meat shield. But Aileen. She was quick on her feet. She was giving Aaron ideas.

But there was still one fatal flaw in his argument; one that no one else seemed to notice yet. It was one that she was definitely going to exploit though.

---

Everything seemed to be... Floating. The mindscape was absolutely beautiful. It was comfortable, and she was finding slowly that the laws of physics didn't actually seem to apply. There was a small pool in the middle of the landscape that she actually dared to venture to. Cassarrah had told her to dive. She did. It went on for ever. She could feel the water on her skin, her hair floating all around her. But when she finally needed to breathe, she was too far down to get back to the surface in time. But she didn't drown. In fact, she could breathe under here.

It had felt like hours upon hours had passed.

She finally emerged, shaking the water droplets from her hair, watching as they bounced off of the grassy field nearby. This was euphoric.

And suddenly, as she emerged, a voice reached her ears. It was... Her own. "C'mon Aaron... Don't keep us waiting. What's the big idea?"

"W-Wha?"

This wasn't good. This couldn't be good. This couldn't be good at /all/. If Li was the remnants of her old self... Sans what little religious and suicidal bits that she had... And also sans her kindness...

Realization hit her. She quickly understood exactly what it was that Li was trying to do. With a massive, hobbling limp she staggered her way back towards that little black wall off in the distance. She had to wrest control from that bitch before she fucked things up for not only herself, but for Cassarah, Nekane, and well... for her.

She just knew though that the unbearable pain flowing through her leg would make it impossible to get there before any real damage had been done.

---

Li just waited and listened. Listened and let Aaron finish his tirade. He could argue until he was red in the face if he wanted to. There was one key thing that she knew she could hit on, and she absolutely knew it would break Aaron.

"You know... I was there when you ran." She made a point to avoid the sticky questions. If she executed this right, he wouldn't even remember he had asked them in about... Five minutes.

"You're condemning me as a murderer? You're putting yourself up on a pedestal, saying you have a moral high ground? Let's see, where in God's name did this come from? I watched you run Aaron. You shot at Rob. I don't know if you killed him, and I won't know until tomorrow morning. But you shot him. And you left everyone else for dead. The way you fled... You didn't care at the time who managed to keep up. And didn't I count more than just these two there? Wasn't there some little black haired girl with you when I found you the first time? What happened to her, hm? Don't you care?"

The look on her face was something beyond even smug. She knew she had just won. Because it was absolutely obvious, Aaron didn't care. She was just going to bring Milo and Aileen's attention to it. Even if he did have an escape plan, the way he was looking, it had to be for himself. She would turn Aileen away from him. Milo didn't seem smart enough to understand the implications of that. But honestly, even failing that it would cause a little distrust in the group.

Frankly? In Li's mind, Aaron deserved it.
Edited by T-Fox, Mar 4 2011, 11:46 AM.
Coming soon to a deathmatch near you:
Garry Brooks - Swave Countryboy
Jade Aurora - Tomboy Drummer
Jasmine Tolle - Pacifistiic Artist

Memories of those past:
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What is wrong with you people?!
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T-Fox
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N-Nopony! Ah was talkin' to nopony whatsoever!
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
((After reading the topic on formatting, I've decided I'm going to swap back to plaintext with Jackie, and see how well that works out here. Sooo yeah. If this is hard to read, by all means PM me ASAP.))
((Also, agreeing with Vole. I'm getting Jackie the hell out of dodge here, especially since I'm two days off of inactivity with her anyways.))

Jackie had scrambled back to that spot from which she had originally fallen, pain throbbing in her leg, terror behind her eyes. And now, terror once again racked her body, mind, and spirit, but for a completely different reason this time. No longer was it a fear that she was just plain broken. That she had lost her mind, and that she could no longer control herself on a literal level. A few hours... Well, it had felt like hours with Cassarah cleared all that right up. Armed with a greater understanding, she now realized exactly what she had left Li alone to do. Not that she could have done anything about it before.

It was amazing how well hidden the little platform was. A step through the underbrush, and she was viewing the world again through her own two eyes. Not the world that her sick and broken mind had concocted to give her a chance to escape from that which she could not cope with, as trippy as thinking about that fact was. She was once again looking at the real world.

Just in time to see Aaron stalking off into the distance, his troupe following closely in step. A girl was there that she had never seen before, even in the halls of Bayview. She certainly hadn't been there when she first laid eyes on Aaron's group a few hours beforehand.

Aaron had leaned in to say something, whisper in that girl's ear. Something about the way his head moved, and that hand on his gun told her that he had just made another ally.

She could feel her face flushing in a familiar way. Anger. Red hot anger shooting up her cheeks. Yet she didn't feel angry herself at all. And then she startled herself with the sound of her own voice. Except it wasn't really her at all. Li was still posing, using her body to get her own way.

"You're no better than me Aaron, don't let your loyal little dogs make you think otherwise! If Lilly appears on those announcements, even if Danya does give the credit to that racist little prick Rob, it's still your fault. You wouldn't stay to assess the true situation. You fled, left her and the others to the dogs. If she's dead, you're a murderer. Just like me."

She felt herself smirking, but at the same time she felt that feeling in the pit of your stomach that usually comes about when you realize exactly how fucked you are.

For the first time in six days, she thought about the cameras, showing her entire life for a week to the entire world like thousands of sick little voyeurs. Somewhere, her parents were watching. Watching who they presumed was their little girl, doing nothing better with her time on the island, with her supposed regret for taking the life of another than egging on one of her classmates. Getting her sick kicks out of trying to ruin someone significantly more deserving's day.

And now, the anger was truly hers.

She was fuming. At herself, for letting it happen. But mostly at Li, for being a big enough bitch to do it in the first place.

I don't fucking believe you Li... I fucking hate you.

She struggled against the mental bonds that seemed to hold her rooted in place, keep her out of the driver's seat.

I fucking hate you.

Within her own mind, her voice was becoming louder and louder. She hated Li. She hated the bus drivers that had sold them out. She hated Mr. Kwong for being a big enough idiot to not see that this was about to happen. She hated Danya for thinking this hair brained scheme would change a god damned thing within the US government, whatever political change he was trying to bring about. But most of all, she hated herself for being so god. damned. weak.

I fucking HATE you.

I FUCKING HA-

"-TE YOU!"

With what felt like a herculean effort of physical strength, she wrested control from Li. She didn't understand the mechanics of what had just occured, and she didn't understand the willpower it took, how she had harnessed it, or any of the little nuances involved. She didn't even know the exact moment that her frenzied yells had left the confines of her own mind and become real. But right about now she didn't care. Let her look like a god damn psychopath right now. Her brain really was broken.

Her hand flew to the Hacksaw on her hip.

"I don't fucking BELIEVE you. You have to go and fuck it up for me! You KNOW I wanted to apologize to him when I saw him, you stupid CUNT!" They were a ways away by now. She hadn't taken the time to survey the area, see if they were even in earshot anymore.

She didn't care. The hacksaw whipped up into the air.

"FUCK YOU."

She was in a blind rage at someone she couldn't physically lay a hand on. So she took it out on the next best thing. A shiny little piece of glass glinted from the fork of a nearby tree. She spun on her heel, ignoring the searing pain that shot through her entire body, using the hacksaw like a baseball bat, sending the camera spiraling off of it's stand and off into the distance with a loud, resounding crunch.

And suddenly, just like that, for the first time since the split... All was completely quiet save her ragged, labored breathing.

When she finally regained her composure, it would take her a good twenty minutes to force the destroyed blade of the saw from it's wooden prison, holding it so tightly, as if for dear life.

Yeah, there was no way that Danya passed up the chance to air that entire spectacle. Mom and Dad were watching.

"Fantastic..."

She sighed, an exasperated sigh. Still her own mind laid dormant. It was refreshing. And for a moment, she legitimately didn't care.

((Jacquard "Jackie" Broughten continued in Peripeteia.))
Edited by T-Fox, Mar 17 2011, 08:53 PM.
Coming soon to a deathmatch near you:
Garry Brooks - Swave Countryboy
Jade Aurora - Tomboy Drummer
Jasmine Tolle - Pacifistiic Artist

Memories of those past:
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What is wrong with you people?!
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