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Without Love, It Cannot Be Seen; Early Day 6 [Private]
Topic Started: Feb 9 2011, 03:47 PM (3,681 Views)
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
[Instinct --> Ema Ryan]

The short trip was uncomfortably reminiscient of Ema's second day on the island, a journey made from ex-forest to forest in the rapidly dimming light of evening, towards a largely uncertain destination. A journey which, the first time around at least, had been spent mostly freaking out due to urban-myth-based paranoia. This time, though, well armed and well allied as she had since become, Ema wasn't particularly worried. She was just nostalgic, for want of a better term, thinking about how much things had changed in less than a week.

For one thing, she wasn't alone. She wasn't afraid, either, not actively. The base level of wariness could never truly go away, not even if - unlikely as it was - she won the game and went home. No, she was pretty sure she was afflicted with paranoia for life, however short that may be. She was also armed, holding the faintly gleaming not-sure-what-kind-of-sword-it-is sword casually in her right hand, so used to its familiar weight that it now felt reassuring to have it around.

Most importantly, though, and most abhorrently to her own thoughts, Ema wasn't affected by what had just happened. Witnessing two other deaths at Hayley's hands beforehand, and hearing about the demises of both Eve and Janet just hours after leaving them behind, had put paid to her sense of remorse that had once gone alongside her close proximity to death, violence and everything that went with it. She even, in those occasional moments of pure pragmatism, ventured to think she was capable of killing people herself. They didn't last long, though, and her rational mind quickly reminded her of how badly she'd fare in a fight, whilst her emotional one claimed "You're just not that kind of person.", though Ema had started to reasonably doubt both.

She did have a sword, and backup. She'd seen enough of other people killing each other not to be effected by it. What was stopping her getting in the game herself?

"This'll do."

---

When she finally awoke, Ema didn't remember much of the previous evening, or the train of thought she'd embarked on before falling asleep. She didn't even remember falling asleep, come to think of it. But it was to be expected, the girl had always been a heavy sleeper.

Speaking of heavy sleep, it appeared she'd already missed the opening snarky remarks of Danya's morning announcement. She didn't bother getting up, or even sitting up, Ema just rolled over onto her back and paid attention. She recognised only more names than usual this time around. Isaiah Garvey, that awkwardly polite boy she'd met just before the prom, had apparently snuffed it. Snuffed it? Ema didn't even have it in her to chide herself for the calm way she dismissed the death of someone she'd known personally, though not closely. It was early and she didn't really care who died any more, as long as it wasn't her or Hayley. Or Maddy, or Kyle, she soon corrected. Maybe Alex too.

"I don't really care who dies?"

Danya then went on to tell the trio what they already knew about Hayley's exploits from the day before, met with grandiose I-don't-give-a-fuck-ery from Hayley herself. The next few names caught her attention; Michelle O'Cain and Ridley Landon, the other two she'd spent her first day at the Key with. She didn't know how to feel about Rid, he'd seemed nice enough, but the girl knew she was pleased to hear Michelle was gone, that one had been nothing but trouble for the few minutes they'd spent together.

"I'm... glad she's gone?"

The rest was uninteresting. Ema made a mental note of the new danger zones - the Town she still hadn't been to, and the Ranger Station, which she had barely even noticed was on the map in the first place - and that "Ms. Gweneth", presumably the Tabitha Gweneth that had killed Clio Gabriella, had won a new big deadly weapon. One big bad killer off the list, one new, well armed one added. Status quo is god.

"How am I so damn casual about all this?"

"Because you have to be. Man up and get in the game."

Silence filled the air, following the announcement. Ema was busy thinking, trying to figure her own mind out, something she was all too used to doing. She figured Hayley and Kyle were up to similar introspection, as movement and discussion was at an all time low. So Ema didn't bother getting up just yet. Against all odds, laying there on that towel and under that blanket and not with Hayley this time, sucks but oh well she was actually comfortable. Moving around didn't seem like a great idea.

"Kyle, You want to go for a walk...?"

"Let's go."


---

Ema didn't begrudge the couple - "Yup, still a couple. Yup, you're still the third wheel." - some time spent alone. She didn't like the idea of being left alone herself, but she wasn't about to protest. The threesome's group dynamic didn't need any m-- fuck did I just say threesome no no no that was a bad choice of word. They didn't need any more awkwardness, that was the point. Once they'd been gone a few minutes, the lone girl forced herself to get up. She rolled up her blanket and towel, dumped them both in her daypack.

Then she regretted having done so as soon as the smell of her own body reached her nostrils. She re-opened the bag, shoved the sleeping stuff aside, and rooted around for fresh clothes and deodorant. Figuring that she was alone, as far as actual people went, cameras be damned, Ema muttered an apology in case anyone she knew was watching, and started to undress.

"Not like I'd get anyone but the short-arse ginger fetishists anyways."

The girl stood there for a few seconds, looking down, staring at herself. It had always been pretty damn obvious how much she lacked any real figure, but for some reason it stuck out to her for a moment. Maybe because there was a good chance she was on camera that very moment. She regretted not wearing anything underneath her shirt, despite there being little-to-nothing that needed hiding. Luckily, the underwear she did have on wasn't nearly as mortifying as what Hayley might still be wearing. Ema was glad not to have ruffles on her ass.

When she was done changing, and both looking and smelling notably less like she'd been dragged through a fen backwards, Ema dumped the old clothes back in her bag - she told herself she might be able to wash them, but it was more an inability to throw stuff away - and retrieved some bread and water for breakfast. Enough of both left to last another three or so days, she estimated. She made short work of the breakfast portion, and had to resist the urge to overeat; got to ration this stuff.

The problem was how quickly it all went. Announcements, getting yourself up, eating, and the additional time taken to change clothes, it all went by very quickly. Alone in a forest, waiting for your companions to come back from don't-want-to-think-about-what-they're-doing-with-that-privacy, there wasn't much to do.

So Ema paced. And she thought.

Eva, Ridley and Michelle are dead, I probably would be too if I wasn't leeching off of Hayley. I still haven't gotten my hands dirty, and it'll only make it worse when I'm not used to it and only hardened killers are left. It's pretty bloody obvious I'm not as over Hayley as I thought I was. I don't want to think about where she went with Kyle because I don't want to decide they're probably screwing or something. I'm all alone with only a sword to defend myself - she paced back across to her daypack, took the falcata out from underneath it - if someone comes along.

This morning sucks ass.


(Also retroactive editing win?)
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
Parallel with: The Heavy Weapons Guy

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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
Pacing around got old pretty quickly. Under normal circumstances, Ema could've put together the framework for a story she'd never actually write in the time she'd been alone. She could've sat down, wandered around, lay down and closed her eyes, whatever, and half-daydreamed, half-imagined up a plot. She would've thought the sword in her hand would have actually helped, back before it came to be there. If anything, it was one of the bigger factors sapping her creativity. The biggest, of course, was sheer waryness. Ema didn't have time to zone out when she was the only one protecting Hayley's, Kyle's and her own stuff, including two extra bladed weapons and a gun. Or at least, she was moderately sure they'd been left behind, unless the other two slept with their respective weapons.

"Well holy shit Emms, you managed to go off on a tangent that went somewhere useful!"

Emms? Nobody had called her that in years. She didn't dwell on why it had come to mind just then. Instead, she did the sensible thing that had come to mind, and redirected her pacing towards where Hayley had left her daypack. The girl took a cautious look around to make sure she was certainly alone before cutting off her field of vision, and proceeded to unzip the bag. "She won't mind, right? It's just a gun, just making sure nobody else gets their hands on it, and it's more use to me than a sword..."

She set her falcata aside, leaning against a tree and, out of... respect? Ema didn't really know, but whatever it was, she half-averted her eyes whilst digging through Hayley's things, trying not to identify anything that wasn't gun-shaped. As luck - or logic - would have it, the weapon was very near the top, and didn't take long to find. Ema took it, closed the bag, and stood up straight again.

It was an odd feeling. The gun felt lighter than she'd expected, and conferred an odd sense of... not power, not really. More importance, for as much sense as that made to Ema herself. The sense that having it in her hands had instantly - however temporarily - elevated her to a much more influential position in the island's hierachy. The position of someone who could point a barrel at someone else, and get what they wanted. No matter what the description was, it certainly felt good. The inherent danger that came with it didn't really occur to Ema just yet.

And, as she went back to her pacing, which had by then become more like a patrol, taking the safety off hadn't occurred to her yet either.
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
Parallel with: The Heavy Weapons Guy

The Past
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
A sudden, sharp sound awoke Ema from her waking daze. Having nothing to do had become so mind-numbing, all she could focus on was watching the treeline all around her, pacing around, hoping she didn't see anyone approaching. There were another two directly afterwards, and it didn't take long for the girl to identify them as gunshots. She almost dismissed them, "Great, Hayley's shooting someone aga--"

But I have her gun.

That realisation made her heart skip a beat.

Then it came back in full force, racing with fear and adrenaline. Somebody was shooting, it was coming from the direction Hayley and Kyle had gone off in. And it wasn't either of them.

"Hayley!?"

No response.

Ema took off running.

By the grace of whatever was watching over her, she had the luck not to trip over any more undergrowth. At worst, she had to barge past some small branches, slowing her a little. She didn't hear anything.

She didn't want to believe Hayley could've been hit. But it was worth a try.

"Kyle!?"

No response from him, either.

No... no no no...

Ema didn't want Hayley to be dead, but she wanted even less for them both to be gone.

She didn't want to be alone.

Panic flooded Ema's mind, and she sped up. The hood of her coat flew off of her head, and as it was unzipped, the back billowed out behind her. Only her forward-leaning posture kept the arms from slipping off of her shoulders, too. And then she saw it.

It was unmistakable, the kind of thing where you have no idea what to expect, but know it's exactly what you were looking for when you see it. Except in the most morbid manner imaginable.

Hayley was alive.

Kyle wasn't.

Ema stopped dead.

Whoever had done it was no longer around, no, they were on their way out. Someone Ema didn't recognise - surprise surprise - fleeing into the distance. It was just as well, Ema didn't have the slightest idea how to speak to Hayley at that moment, attempting to retaliate was the best she could do. She lifted the gun, placed her right index-finger to the trigger and her left to the squared trigger-guard, cradling her right hand in her left palm. For some reason, the entire preparation felt so very natural.

But the trigger wouldn't budge. Ema cursed, a rather quiet "Fuck!" under her breath, and fumbled for the safety. By the time she'd turned it off, Charlene was long gone.

Ema put the safety back on, and lowered the gun, holding it by her side, dejected, disappointed in herself.

She turned to face Hayley, and instantly froze up.

What the hell are you supposed to say at a time like this?
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
Parallel with: The Heavy Weapons Guy

The Past
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
"E-Ema?"

Say something, Ema.

"He's..."

Say something goddamnit.


But the sight before her robbed Ema of her ability to speak. Hayley didn't seem to be having much more success herself. The gun was still in her hand, it felt awkward, alien, heavier than it truly was and as though it didn't belong. There wasn't anybody to shoot anyway, so Ema thrust it into her back-pocket. She looked down as she did, and it was a good excuse to avert her eyes from the piteous scene. She didn't look up for a few seconds.

Just what does one say to a person that just saw their boyfriend shot dead? When they're still there, beside the body, trying to tell them to wake up?

There was really nothing Ema could say, not with regards to the late Kyle Portman at least. Not with regards to how Hayley felt about it, either. Perhaps later, but not then. So instead,

"I'm... I'm sorry."

She apologised. Charlene had gotten away, and it was her own fault for not thinking to check the gun was actually usable before trying to shoot. In hindsight, she hadn't even checked the magazine to see if it was empty or not.

"I'm so sorry."

Again, it felt cathartic to repeat herself. And failing to avenge Hayley's loss wasn't all she was apologising for any more. For how she'd reacted to hearing that Hayley had killed on the second day, for instantly assuming the worst. Ema looked back up, rubbing at her eyes.

"I'm sorry, Hayley."

For being so incredulous when introduced as her "best friend". For interrupting her and Kyle when they'd first linked up. If not for that, none of this might have even happened. Apologising again seemed excessive, and there were only so many different ways Ema could put "sorry" into a short sentence. Instead, this time, she moved down to Hayley's height, closer to Kyle's body. She avoided the pool of blood, which was longer expanding fast enough to warrant worrying about it further, and tried not to look at the boy's lifeless eyes, or the slowly fading heart he'd drawn. She looked at Hayley, and with a haste that gave away how unsure she was about it, Ema grasped her in a close embrace.

"Congratulations, you've been promoted to 'shoulder to cry on'."

Ema completely ignored that voice, barely even noticed it in the first place. That was a good sign, only a tiny part of her was remaining stubbornly bitter, and by-and-large, Ema didn't care for it. All she cared for right now was hugging her best friend, making sure she was okay, letting her know she wasn't alone just yet. Silently apologising for everything she regretted - and there was plenty still to list, but the banner of "Being bitter like a complete tosser and hating Hayley way more than she deserved" covered the majority.

"I am so, so sorry."

And the second half, she still hadn't the heart to say.
"And I forgive you."
Ema only hoped Hayley forgave her, too.
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
Parallel with: The Heavy Weapons Guy

The Past
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
At some point, Hayley had started crying. Whilst Ema did take notice, she didn't think much of it, as it was entirely obvious why. She hadn't been there, but all three 'new friends' she'd made on her first day had died, and she knew how it felt to recieve that news. It hadn't been to a gunshot, but she'd also lost a loved one before. She tried her best to disregard how the person in question was Hayley herself. The point was, she knew a considerably less intense version of how Hayley was feeling, and she didn't blame her at all.

"Me too,"

The two stayed that way for quite some time. Ema had no idea exactly how long, she didn't have a watch, and she wasn't counting. Time was immaterial for the moment, time could wait for all she cared, Ema had a friend to comfort. Eventually, though, it dawned on her that they should get moving. If a player came along, they were practically helpless, and if anyone else came along and saw the two of them next to Kyle's body, they could get the wrong idea - and again they were practically helpless. If nothing else, best to find a safer place to grieve.

Slowly, and quite clearly reluctantly, Ema pulled away from her best friend. For a fleeting moment, she found herself not quite able to keep moving away, stuck staring into Hayley's eyes, no more than two feet away from her face. But she caught herself, refused to be involved in one of those cliché moments where the two awkward people don't kiss, and backed off fully. She forced herself to grin - and boy was it obviously forced - and put on that fake-enthusiastic-clearly-not voice. "Come on, stop it, you'll make me cry at this rate..."

A pause. That probably wasn't the best choice of words.

"We need to get our arses in gear, we're sitting ducks like this."

Ema's face was quite clearly not the picture of readiness, so she turned away, took the gun back out of her pocket, and flicked the safety off. No fuck-ups due to that in the future. It never even crossed her mind that the weapon was Hayley's - as much as taking it from James first counted as ownership - or that she should probably give it back. She'd been entirely ready to shoot at Charlene. She'd even tried to. It felt almost natural to have the gun in her hand now.
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
Parallel with: The Heavy Weapons Guy

The Past
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
Ema was very aware that the faux-cheerful act didn't become her, and frankly, she was absolutely terrible at it anyway. She was still lamenting her poor choice of words when Hayley spoke up.

"That's mine."

As much as she could pin it on the trauma of what had just happened, there was something about the incredibly flat tone Hayley had addressed her in. She was supposed to be upset, she'd barely finished crying, and then suddenly that blunt remark. It was unsettling, to say the least.

Either way, Ema turned around. The other girl was clearly asking for - no, requesting in a no-is-not-an-answer way - her gun back. And here she was fiddling with it as though it were the most natural thing in the world. Still, Ema might have argued, maybe suggested that it wasn't a great idea for to be carrying something so dangerous in her less-than-stable state, but before she could even consider doing so, her eyes found the parallel red marks on Hayley's midriff. There wasn't even time to berate herself for looking at topless girls when there was surviving to do, the sight was more than a little bit frightening. She almost asked "Are you okay?". No. Stupid question. Of course she isn't. Best response? Do what she says and don't antagonise her if it can at all be helped.

"Oh, sorry, I just kind of..."

The blustered response tailed off, and Ema just handed the weapon over without trying to finish it. She'd just kind of gotten used to having it, though. Just kind of started to like the feeling of power it offered. Just kind of liked having the Godlike power to point, click, kill, at her fingertips. But that paled in comparison to how, to be perfectly honest, she was pretty much terrified of Hayley at that moment.

So speaking of not antagonising her, Ema ducked down and grabbed the discarded shirt on the floor, offering that to her companion as well. At that point, words were infinitely harder to muster than they had been just seconds prior, not unlike how words escaped Ema when she was trying to talk to people she'd not met before; the same underlying fear, but for entirely different reasons. She finally summoned a pitifully small voice.

"You might, uh.. you might want that."

"Good God, Ema, that was pathetic."
"Kyle's dead and Hayley's fucking scary."
"Point taken."


"So, err... what now? We might be able to, uh, catch up to her..." It dawned on Ema that she didn't even know who it was that had caused all of this. "...but we should probably gather our stuff first."
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
Parallel with: The Heavy Weapons Guy

The Past
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Chib
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
Jacket on. Cigarette lit. Modicum of calm regained. Ordinarily, even if only in jest, Ema would've had something to say about the smoking. She always did, a sort of undeniable urge to passive-agressively complain about the self-destructive habit. But given that neither she nor Hayley had particularly good odds of surviving another week, she kept her mouth shut. Couldn't begrudge someone a small comfort after they'd just seen their boyfriend shot dead, and they'd likely not live to see any health problems from it. Speaking of their odds... Danya had said they were past the 100 mark for deaths, and if there were just short of 300 to start with, that put them nearly halfway. Those that remained were either killers or hanging around them like Ema was. Theoretically, their chance of surviving had improved. In practice? Coming across anyone that was still alive probably wouldn't be pleasant.

"Let's go, I guess,"

Fatalistic musing interrupted, Ema nodded her agreement, and pulled her hood back up. It wasn't quite noon, but the sun was high enough in the sky to be an irritation.

"After I've got my bag I really really just want to go somewhere really far away."

Fair point. Impractical as it was, Ema herself felt a strange desire to return to the Key, where she'd first awoken. She didn't mention it, though.

"I don't think...don't think we'll catch up with her and she'd better hope we don't for her sake because when I catch up with that fucking bitch I'll-"

That one didn't need finishing, Ema could imagine exactly what Hayley wanted to do in retaliation. She shared the feeling herself, a very diluted version, but still the same. She did not appreciate having one of the last few friendly people on the island taken away, or the detrimental effects his death had clearly had on Hayley's psyche.

And with that, Hayley set off back towards the clearing they'd camped at last night. Back to their stuff, back to that sword Ema had grown so fond of lately. It certainly wasn't as god-complex-inducing as the gun, but it still conferred a considerable sense of power, as well as of safety. Unarmed, having given Hayley her weapon back, Ema very much wanted to have her sword back in her hand. She hastened after her lone remaining companion, back to her daypack and her sword. Back to that sense of safety. Away from the gruesome reminder of her mortality.

Along the way, ignoring the voice that told her she'd regret it, Ema managed a single question.

"Do you... do you want to talk about it?"

[Ema Ryan --> Sprint for the Finish Line] - End thread.
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
Parallel with: The Heavy Weapons Guy

The Past
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