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Peripeteia; All hope is lost
Topic Started: Mar 10 2011, 12:34 AM (3,686 Views)
Solomir
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Nanotech Engineer
[ *  *  *  * ]
((Peter Siu continued from May the Lord Accept This Sacrifice at Our Hands))

Peter might've gotten his hands bloodied a few times in the past week, but he was still a sucker for people calling for help.
Definitely a sucker.
Well, it probably also mattered that there was something that had sounded distinctly like a gunshot a few moments before he heard the yelling. That had very neatly woken Peter up from whatever stupor he had been in. Peter couldn't remember what he had been doing in the tunnels, but his best guess was that he'd needed some daytime rest and time to think over the announcements.

While Peter had been on edge when he heard the gunshot, the voice that followed put all those fears aside. He didn't know what it was he heard in it that made his blood freeze. Desperation. Fear. Need. How could he not respond to that?
It's the right thing to do.
His legs pumped as he ran in the direction of the voice. He was lucky there were no forks to decide between; the layout of the tunnels would've made it hard to pick out which way to go. Peter aimed his flashlight low, making sure to keep his step lit; falling down while running at breakneck speed was probably one of the more silly ways to end up badly injured or killed.

Another light up ahead diffused dimly through the dark cavern. He'd found them. Peter didn't know how long he'd run for. He still had his breath, so it must not have been that far. His footfalls slowed, although he still pushed on at a brisk pace. If whoever was yelling for help really needed it, then there would be time later for wariness. First things first, somebody needed help.

Peter froze midstep when he saw what he signed up for. Brendan and Steven looked a lot worse for wear since the last time Peter'd seen them over a week ago. Well, to say that Steven looked worse for wear was probably a massive understatement. There was blood pooling on the floor. So much blood. Tiffany hadn't bled that much. Neither did Lucas, and Peter hadn't stuck around long enough to measure how much blood Jessie had left on the floor of the church. Judging by the mess of crimson on Steven's leg, it didn't take much power of deduction to put it together.
Might also want to use those deductive powers on what caused this whole debacle.
What could he even do? With a wound in the femoral artery, there was only so much time until Steven bled out. At best, Peter could slow the bleeding and give Steven a few more minutes. Or he could just save them all the pain and finish it quickly. "What do you want-" Peter stopped his query when he looked at Brendan. So much fear. So lost. The poor kid probably didn't have the first clue about proper first aid, or even handling anything more than a papercut.

He didn't need to do this. There were no lives to be saved here.
There are no lives on this island to be saved.
But he had to try, didn't he?

"Okay. Everyone needs to stay calm here." Not that Peter could keep himself calm, but that was all in his head. He could at least act the part. "Steven, I need you to talk to me. Tell me some stories about the island, or about back home." Peter closed the distance as he gave his instructions, shrugging his backpack from his shoulders and leaning it against the tunnel's wall. He knelt down at Steven's feet to get a closer look at the wound.
I can save him.
A cursory glance told him everything he needed to know. Just a small hole in Steven's jeans, gushing out blood at a steady rhythm. Peter would need to do something, and do it fast, if he was going to make any progress. Brendan had left the contents of his first aid kit in easy reach. Peter ran a beam of light over the assorted life saving tools. Mixed among them was one decidedly non-life-saving tool. Peter knew it was what had caused this whole mess. He'd worry about it later.
I don't think Brendan meant for it to happen.
Triangular bandage and scissors were what he needed, and in a few seconds, he had both in his hands. The scissors were tiny, and denim was tough to cut, but there was nothing else he could use. As he cut away the pant leg, Peter listened to Steven talk, nodding and making non-committal grunts when appropriate. Focus on the first aid first, and he could talk later.
I remember every word, every nuance.
The seconds ticked past as he worked. Crucial seconds that meant the difference between life and death. Maybe he should've kept track of how long he took before he pulled back the bloodsoaked denim to reveal pale skin splashed with blood. The blood was still pumping out, still that steady rhythm. But each beat didn't seem to be oozing as much blood as it had not even a minute ago.

Time was not on anybody's side.

"This might hurt just a little," Peter murmured as he looped the bandage around the leg, a ways above the gunshot wound, and tied a quick half-knot. One deep breath to collect himself, and then Peter tugged at the loose ends of the bandage, crushing together as much fat and muscle together in the hopes of closing off the source of the blood. Peter prayed that it would be enough to save a life.
I want to, need to, make a difference.
V5


B036: Benjamin Ward: "Sh-shut the fuck up. Or I'll k-kick your ass."
B047: Marcus Leung: "Let's start by staying calm."


V4

Rest in peace

B004 - Peter Siu: "We're all fuck-ups."
G006 - Tiffany Baker: "Will you stay with me, until I wake up?"
G027 - Marybeth Witherspoon: "The cameras are pointing here, not there."
B115 - Tony Russo: "I'm sorry...."
G087 - Rachel Gettys: "I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell."
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Solomir
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Nanotech Engineer
[ *  *  *  * ]
"Fucking hell, Hunt. Keep fucking talking!" Peter shot a glare up at Steven's face, then at Brendan, then back to the bandage. Furiously, he pulled again at the ends, hoping to tighten it to staunch the flow of blood completely. It didn't matter if he cut off all blood to his leg. It didn't matter if Steven wasn't going to walk again. He just needed to save him.

Who was he kidding? Peter'd known this was a losing proposition to start. He should've known. Steve Digaeteno hadn't lasted more than two minutes after his femoral had been hit. Hunt had held out impressively, but the end result had been clear the moment he'd seen the damage. Another dead-end scenario, and Peter knew exactly who was to blame.
He's a murderer. And what do I do to murderers?
Peter whirled around to face the killer. "Brendan," Peter intoned, letting his voice rumble through the dark cavern, "explain to me what the fuck happened." But Brendan had scurried off to cower against the walls. Peter sighed, pushed himself up to his feet and slowly walked toward the other boy. The faint sound of shuffling behind him caught his attention.

Right; there was that other girl too. He turned his head to get a glance of her face. The lighting was minimal, but Peter's eyes had long adjusted to what was available. Jackie Broughten. She'd been on the first announcements; but not again. Could've been a misunderstanding, or she'd just gotten lucky. She looked anything but threatening now. Peter could take care of her later, as long as he kept an eye on her and she didn't try anything funny. "Stay there. Don't move." Peter growled as he glared at her.

He turned back to face Brendan, who hadn't said a word since he'd shown up to his cries for help. "Do you have any fucking idea what you've done?" Peter seethed with every word. This fucking wretched thing had the audacity to call him over to clean up his goddamned spilled milk. "You did this. You shot him, because he sure as hell didn't shoot himself in the leg. So I'm gonna give you one fucking chance to explain your fucking self." Every word seemed to follow its own crescendo, compounding one after another until Peter was all but yelling.

But only silence came in reply.

Peter stared, then sighed. "You're fucking pathetic, you know Brendan?" Peter spat with disdain. "You shoot somebody to death. Your first kill, if I recall correctly." Peter took a step over to the fallen gun and picked it up, making sure to flick the safety on. No sense in repeating history. "You had this gun, and you either know how to use it or you're a fucking idiot and should never be allowed to have one. I'd have thought you could fucking handle what this all comes to mean. For God's sake, it's been a fucking week. But no, you're just going to sit there being useless and pathetic. You can't even fucking man up and accept the responsibility of what you just fucking did."

For a moment, Peter wasn't in a cave anymore. For a moment, Peter was standing in a patch of bloodstained grass, looking at the tattered flesh that had been Lucas' throat. He'd let things go out of control. For a moment, Peter was kneeling in swamp mud, shedding a tear on the only person who'd never stopped caring. He'd led her into the line of fire. For a moment, Peter prayed at a broken altar, overlooking the bloody remains of what had been Jessie. He'd been rash, impulsive, and intoxicated.

For a moment, Peter just didn't want to face the oncoming train carrying every failure he'd ever been.

Peter raised his hand just slightly. The barrel of the pistol lined up with the center of Brendan's forehead. The gun felt heavy and unfamiliar. The dim light of the flashlights barely let him see Brendan's face: slack jawed and wide-eyed and staring off into something a million miles away. What a fucking waste of everyone's time here.

"You're such a waste of air around here. You get up and you're just going to fucking end up shooting someone else again, and we'll be fucking back at square one. Except, well, another innocent person would be dead. Like Jackie back there." Peter's grip tightened around the pistol, knuckles white. "Or you'll do it and be a murderer. Neither of those are of any fucking good to anybody on this island.

"So tell me: why shouldn't I just shoot you right now?"
Please tell me why not.
V5


B036: Benjamin Ward: "Sh-shut the fuck up. Or I'll k-kick your ass."
B047: Marcus Leung: "Let's start by staying calm."


V4

Rest in peace

B004 - Peter Siu: "We're all fuck-ups."
G006 - Tiffany Baker: "Will you stay with me, until I wake up?"
G027 - Marybeth Witherspoon: "The cameras are pointing here, not there."
B115 - Tony Russo: "I'm sorry...."
G087 - Rachel Gettys: "I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell."
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Solomir
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Nanotech Engineer
[ *  *  *  * ]
Of course. There always had to be somebody to shit all over the work he was trying to do. He should've told Jackie to keep her mouth shut too.

The challenge hung in the air. Peter shifted his body, turning slightly to put Jackie in his peripheral vision. He may as well oblige her in discussion; it would beat waiting in the dim silence which was not encouraging Brendan to do anything and putting up with that dull ache in his leg. He drew up a breath and straightened his shoulders. Jackie had taken up a stand and Peter wasn't going to make himself look like he'd be easy to bowl over.

"Do I need to repeat myself? He needs to fucking man up. Sure shit happens. People die when you don’t mean them to. If he'd done it on purpose, I'd have blown his brains out already. Still, it’s been a goddamn week, Jackie. Way too late to be throwing pity parties.” Peter shuffled his feet slightly, trying to get his jeans from sticking too much on his left leg. “He wants to run? To hide? Not on my watch.”

Peter’s free hand came up and rubbed absently at his mess of hair. The words echoed hollowly around him. Of course he knew everything about running from his issues. But even then, at least he was trying. He could still do something; make an impact.

“I’ve already killed people. So have you, Jackie. And guess what: we’ve gotten through it. We’re stronger because we can live past that.” Jackie’s confident tone hadn’t escaped Peter’s notice. Back at Bayview, she had been shy and mousy, and now she was anything but that. “If Brendan can’t do the same, then what does he have left?” Peter picked at his pant leg again, trying to innocuously peel it away from his skin. When had he started sweating that much?

“What does he have to live for? It'd be a mercy to spare him that pain.”
V5


B036: Benjamin Ward: "Sh-shut the fuck up. Or I'll k-kick your ass."
B047: Marcus Leung: "Let's start by staying calm."


V4

Rest in peace

B004 - Peter Siu: "We're all fuck-ups."
G006 - Tiffany Baker: "Will you stay with me, until I wake up?"
G027 - Marybeth Witherspoon: "The cameras are pointing here, not there."
B115 - Tony Russo: "I'm sorry...."
G087 - Rachel Gettys: "I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell."
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Solomir
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Nanotech Engineer
[ *  *  *  * ]
Hearing the words coming out of the girl's mouth, Peter wanted to laugh. She thought she was somehow better than him. What, because his kill count was higher than hers by one? She didn't know. She didn't understand anything. All she was doing was vindicating herself while pinning all the rest of the blame onto him.

She was doing a hell of a job of it too. Each word bit deeper and deeper. He understood how everything could be painted that way; but she didn't understand his side. She had one paradigm, one set of axioms to follow: that everyone on the island were victims, and that trying to change the status quo was bad. Fact of the matter was, everybody couldn't be saved. Peter'd already tried. All that was left was to save as many, protect as many people as he could.

People that deserved to be protected; people that deserved to keep living. Not murderers, and not spineless losers.
Maybe Brendan deserves it too.
Jackie didn't understand anything. She didn't know why Jessie had to die. Sure, there could've been other ways of handling that situation, but what was done was done. And Jackie didn't understand. She just assumed. Peter was done being painted as a villain. He was done being compared to the likes of Maxwell and Reiko.

"Shut. Up."

The words came out tersely, but quietly. Peter narrowed his eyes at Jackie with a glare that could freeze hell. Peter didn't like being ridiculed. He didn't like people making him feel useless and ineffective. Most of all, Peter didn't like being reminded of how he'd fucked up. That was his job.

Still, she kept talking. Saying he was something he wasn't. Saying he was a monster. No, saying he was worse than a monster. She just wouldn't shut up.
Make her.
So he'd make her.

"Shut. The. Fuck. Up."

BANG

An unpracticed, jerky movement. Swinging his arm around to aim and releasing the safety resulted in blowback that Peter hadn't been prepared for. His arm whipped back, and for a split second, Peter thought his arm might pop out of his shoulder. The pistol was evidently not meant to be fired one handed. Still, he bit down on the pain and brought the gun back down to bear. His first shot hadn't been aimed at her. Just a warning shot. The next one wouldn't be as charitable.
Couldn't hit her if I tried anyway. I've never been a good shot.
Something clattered to the ground just behind his feet. Peter didn't need to turn around. He could feel Brendan pushing himself for a mad dash away from the two and from the gunshot. Peter couldn't blame him.
Gotta go after him. Gotta talk to him. Figure things out.
"I gave you the benefit of the doubt from the start. Don't make me take it back." The voice was cold steel cutting through the tunnel's dry air. "Brendan ran off. Good enough for you? Because I'm done with you making yourself sound so righteous and wholesome. So let's turn around and walk our separate ways."

Peter gathered up the few things left behind from Brendan's first aid kit. A few usable things here and there and it could go a long way. His flashlight ceased its illumination of Steven's body as he picked it up with his backpack. A few steps away, he found the thing that had fallen to the ground just moments before. It felt unfamiliar to his hand, but the rectangular shape lent credence to what it could be.

Taking a few steps in the general direction Brendan had run off, Peter felt a twinge of pain in his leg. Fuck, he'd reopened the wound. He hadn't been hit particularly hard by that piece of wood, but it would still need tending to sooner rather than later.
Can't stop now, gotta catch up to Brendan.
He didn't even bother to turn around to address her one last time. "And pray that I don't see you again, Jackie. Next time, I'll keep in mind that you're a murderer too."

((Peter Siu continued The Strength to Stand Again))
V5


B036: Benjamin Ward: "Sh-shut the fuck up. Or I'll k-kick your ass."
B047: Marcus Leung: "Let's start by staying calm."


V4

Rest in peace

B004 - Peter Siu: "We're all fuck-ups."
G006 - Tiffany Baker: "Will you stay with me, until I wake up?"
G027 - Marybeth Witherspoon: "The cameras are pointing here, not there."
B115 - Tony Russo: "I'm sorry...."
G087 - Rachel Gettys: "I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell."
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