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Peripeteia; All hope is lost
Topic Started: Mar 10 2011, 12:34 AM (3,681 Views)
Brackie
Member Avatar
personification of adhd
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Rosa Wallace had not touched her tea in almost 2 days.

Her hair was unwashed. Her clothes rank of sweat and body odor. The lounge chair she sat in, and hadn't left for almost a week now, was moulding to fit her every movement. Every twitch changed its pattern, and poked her skin.

This kind of thing didn't happen to her.

Her only child was never even supposed to go on this fucking trip.

The middle-aged woman insanely worried about the trip that Brendan was going to go on. She'd agreed finally, but she made sure of everything, unfathomably overprotective of her little boy. He wasn't going to speak to anyone who brought drugs, or alcohol, or anything like that. She was young once too, she knew the kinds of things kids his age would get up to. He'd stay with that Chase girl he was always hanging out with, and no one else. At that point, she really didn't know what else to say. No more nagging him to study. His school was over. He'd applied for scholarships at several journalism universities, and they were expecting word back once he came home.

No more telling him to go to bed early, he didn't need a good nights sleep for the day ahead of him if he didn't have to even concentrate at school. That was one point she could never understand, why people would even fathom of staying up until 2 in the morning for god knows what reasons. But she agreed to not nag him.

She payed the money, she signed the forms, she even gave him a sobriety test before he went, just to be sure. He complained, he yelled at her every time she mothered him to death, but in the end, even when he...told her, she still loved him.

"Honey, please, just...say something."

Rosa turned her head. Ray sat beside her, sitting on the arm of her lounge chair, again trying to roach a response out of her. He'd been doing this for days, trying to get her to speak, to eat, to drink instead of dying slowly on her chair, just watching all these kids around Brendan's age murdered for prime time television.

Ten times a day he spoke those words.

Honey, please just say something.

Honey, please just say something.

Honey, please just say something.

Honey, please just say something.

She'd had enough.

Her throat cracked as the air rushed through and cleared a week of silence.

"And what am I supposed to say, Raymond?" Rosa cracked through the homely silence, the silence which resided for days, only broken by occasional speech blaring out of the television. She shook every time she heard an accent. Tears rolled out every time it was Australian.

"Just...please, get out of the chair, eat dear, sleep dear!"

"No, I can't. I can't turn away, I can't abandon my son, Ray."

"Dear, he won't die if you're not watch-"

"AND HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT? ANY MINUTE NOW, HE COULD BE DEAD. ANY MINUTE NOW, HE COULD KILL HIMSELF, RAY, ANY MINUTE NOW HE COULD START KILLING PEOPLE. OUR SON IS SCARED, AND HE'S DYING."

"Rosa, please, the government are looking for him, they'll find him before anything bad happen-"

"Before anything bad hap - Ray, don't you understand this show? Something bad has already happened. One hundred and thirty children are dead, and the fact that Brendan is not one of them doesn't make it better. It makes it worse. He's suffering out there, he's terrified. I don't want him to be terrified, Ray! I just...I..." Rosa blurted out, before falling silent again as the screen cut to a dark place. Rosa stopped talking, like she just couldn't anymore, and turned back to the screen. Unmoving.

Her son was back on.

Ray sighed, unaware of what her newest troubles were. He stood up and walked back to the kitchen, trying to find at least something his wife of 28 years would eat.

~*~

((Brendan Wallace continues from The Gully))

It smelt of death.

The cave walls moaned and whispered as he ran through the mountain tunnels, blindly, stumbling against the rock every few minutes. Labyrinths and mazes, all reaching out and trying to suck Brendan into oblivion. Nothing there. No sound except his scattered footsteps.

No sound...

He was a coward. The worst person. Over the course of one whole fucking week, he'd abandoned everyone he'd ever been with. His friends. Friendly people who could have needed him. Hell, he'd even abandoned his boyfriend for some stupid reason he didn't even remember. No idea if he'd even be able to keep his word. His word, which meant nothing compared to how many times he'd kicked up and abandoned people. All sense and sensbility fell on deaf ears, with no sound.

No sound...

He'd even abandoned Liz. Her life depended on him, and he ran like a coward. He could have done something noble, just given up his life to save her. She'd risked it all, he'd done nothing. She tried to fuck with the game, the game that no one wanted to play, and he'd just run away and left the people who really deserved to be there to fight for their lives against the people who came to stop them. And he just ran.

No sound...

A stumble. Brendan skimmed his leg against the wall, and he could have sworn there was a snap. A tiny snap. He couldn't see, he was too afraid to check at all. His heart was pumping strong enough, loud enough, to fracture his ribs and shatter his chest.

No sound...

And the worst thing? He told himself he wanted to see everyone again, make sure they were okay. He wanted to do this so badly it hurt. But really, he found out long ago he was just afraid to lose them. He found Sarah, Dutchy, Roland, and left them on their own. He allied with Raymond, Neil, and Robert, and he just ran off, no intention of coming back. He left Sarah, Stacy, Erik of all people, Harun, Rashid, he'd tried to help them. He lead them for only a short time, and now...he'd actually really intended to help them, he loved most of them more than he could bare. And then...

No sound...

He abandoned Liz, he abandoned Mirabelle, he abandoned Garrett, he abandoned Jeremy. To make it worse, he'd even tried to justify it! Who's to say they didn't go this way, and then he lost track of them? He wanted to say that he honestly thought he was following them out of there, but...they needed him, he was stronger than half of them put together, he had guns for god sake, Brendan knew he was a dependant, not just a liability. And he ran anyway. A coward.

They all hated him

They didn't need him.

No more Brendan to help them. He'd just run away anyway.













Brendan tripped again.

The invisible white sneakers dug themselves behind a hole in the ground. The 170 pound Australian was thrown to the floor, and skidded. His face stung, it tried to dig up the mountain, and then he stopped his skid in a marshy length of rubble, or whatever it looked like in the light.

Brendan didn't want to get up. He wanted to stay there, lying on the ground, for all of time until he died. If he couldn't even do one thing right, then...what was the point of him? Why would anyone want to see such a useless person like him? He didn't even really know most of the people who died around him, for him, near him, without him, he didn't deserve to know them, or grieve them. He'd only known them for three quarters of the year. He had no right to cry over them.

Just like no one one this rock would cry over him.

The stench of death was stronger now. It infiltrated his head and distorted his thoughts. He couldn't think straight. Words meant nothing. Pain. Decay. Waste.

"It hurts..." he whispered. It couldn't have made it further than a few feet. Quiet, so quiet, it made no impact on the world. No one could hear him.

Brendan could have sworn he blinked. There wasn't any way to tell the difference between his open eyes and his closed eyes. Still dark. Was it still night? No light.

The darkness. The silence.

It deafened.

Why did the smell of death haunt him? It was choking, he wanted to hurl, but the pit inside of him was empty. Hunger stroked by decay stroked by an urge to retch up the only things he had left.

Brendan brought himself to his knees, and reached around inside the marshy ground his hands sunk themselves in during his fall. It slipped around, it felt like cloth. His bag flew in front of him when he tripped. It was around here, somewhere.

The felt feel turned into a familiar cloth touch, and there it was. His bag. If he'd been able to see it, the khaki would have been a comforting colour. It really was comforting, in the strangest of ways.

He left around for the little tracks of metal, and its train to unleash it. The bag seemed to have flattened itself against the marshiness, and Brendan had to struggle through the darkness. Eventually, he found it, all the time in thought.

Fuck, why the hell does the ground stick so much? Like, I'm just assuming it's marsh, but I have no idea what grows in a cave like this to make it feel like that. What the hell is it...

He yanked open zip, its tiny whirs a comforting break in the silence. It went very well with the shallow breathes he extruded, in, out.

Brendan felt around, trying to find where he put his torch. He'd barely even used it, it should still be working even after a week.

What the hell is that smell, it smells awful, like-

His eyes went wide.

His fingers found the torch.

He flipped the torch on.

The light bounced down the tunnel, moving over panels of rock and the occasional tiny critter. It settled upon the marshy ground he'd been sitting on for a good time already.

Not ground.

Not even close.

Brendan moved the torch so it covered his front. Instead of the usual dark-brown, it was coated in thick layers of gooey mixture of what used to be skin, mixed with crushed insects, maggots, and what he could have sworn under the current light was dried blood and plasma.

The breathing picked up again, breaking the silence, defying it. They became rasps, as his hands grasped at the real ground. He started scrambling backwards, and he dropped the torch to the ground.

Earth scrapped against his clothing again, and he didn't stop until he hit an invisible wall.

He wanted to yell, but he could only just keep breathing loudly as Brendan's eyes were glued to the body that was once Antonio Russo, but was now covering the front of his shirt and pants.

This isn't happening.

This isn't happening.

This isn't real.

This isn't real.

This isn't real.

It's not real.

Get him off of me.

He's on me.

Get

Him

Off

Of

Me








Please...
Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

I can't sing but I wrote you a song

Wrong notes but the melody's so clear

When I'm lost, I'm still close to gold

cause I found my treasure in you
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Brackie
Member Avatar
personification of adhd
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
No matter the words, no matter the actions, it was not Brendan Wallace who did what he did.

He didn't know how long he was sitting there, trying to just imagine the whole thing away. No, there were no bodies. No, Antonio Russo was not coated on his shirt, that didn't happen. No, it couldn't have. Brendan wouldn't let it happen.

His fingers were not also scraping at his scalp, trying to get the image out of his head. A skull resembling play-doh. A face barely recognisable, how the hell did Brendan even know it was Tony?

What also did not happen? Brendan didn't hear footsteps.

He didn't jump to irrational and barely coherent conclusions in regards to those noises. He knew Liz Polanski to be dead a long time ago
and he was responsible
so they had no reason to follow him. Not a coward like him. But when you go through something so powerful, you don't think straight. Did they want revenge for being the first person to shoot at him? They had to have lied, didn't they? What was a couple of kids here and there? Nothing. He wasn't interesting. He wasn't notable. In regards to SOTF, he was nothing. A nobody.

Danya probably wanted to get rid of the waste of space himself. The footsteps echoed. All around him, they shook his brain.

'I...I'm dead, I'm dead, I'm dead, I'm dead, I'm dead...'

...

...

'...no.'

'If...if it's Danya's squad, and they've already taken care of...of Liz, then...'

'...then I can take them.'

'...those terrorists aren't gonna do this too me.'

'I wanna live.'

But it wasn't what it seemed. Hell, it was never going to be what it seemed.

It wasn't Brendan who scrambled forward towards the light in his bag.

It wasn't Brendan who reached for the gun.

It wasn't Brendan who screamed into the darkness 'Get away from me, get away from me!', or something that could have sounded like that.

It wasn't Brendan who, once, again, was bitten on the hand by a large, flying insect which he had no idea was even residing in Tony's body.

It wasn't Brendan who yelled with surprise as his hand unintentionally clasped itself on the trigger.

It wasn't Brendan who was thrown off balance by the recently fired Jericho in his hands.

It wasn't Brendan who hit his head on the smooth layer of rock on the wall behind him.


Because Brendan was holding his head from the ringing noise still invading his ears and the blow to the head which he didn't know where it came from, before he'd realised what happened.

...the hell, what just...

Then he heard the sound, the figure collapsing in the distance.

...

...

...

...

...no...
















In several places across the world, people screamed.




Rosa Wallace's drawing room, in front of a wide-screen television, her bedroom for the past week.

Angela Pollock-Jones's bedroom, in front of her new computer, decorated with tacky stickers.

The drawing room of Steven Hunt's family, extended and all, in front of their own television.

And the bedroom of a girl, glued to her very own videophone, a girl he would never remember again.
Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

I can't sing but I wrote you a song

Wrong notes but the melody's so clear

When I'm lost, I'm still close to gold

cause I found my treasure in you
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Brackie
Member Avatar
personification of adhd
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
every

single

sense

in

his

body

slowly

turned

off

at the sight that lay before him.

His look of confusion slowly twisted into a look of sheer horror at the realisation of what he'd done. It was...it was just so much like a blur, Brendan didn't even remember picking up the gun. What was he THINKING? He...he just shot someone, an innocent someone who just happened to wander across him as he freaked out. He'd put himself ahead of the curve, ahead of the game; how could he think that he was really out of touch with the game? Brendan always knew he'd screw it up somehow.

These variables weren't running through his brain at this particular moment, however. What was running through was something along the lines of "Holy fuck holy fuck what have I done?"

It took a few moments to recall the flashlight in his hand, and this was the thing that brought him back into reality.

The light hovered on the boy lying against the cave wall.

Steven Hunt.

Oh god, anyone but him...he didn't even do anything...

Brendan scrambled to his feet, the gun clattered to the dirt behind him as he got there as fast as he could. His flashlight pierced through, and Brendan was by his side so fast. Again, he was worthlessly just trying to figure out what to do, again he had no idea if he could even help what he'd done.

It's the drawback of being the guy with the gun, you have no other defining qualities-
Shut it.


The sheer terror on his face as he realised what he'd done could not be summed up by any words available to him, all he could manage was:

"Oh..oh god, oh shit, oh god, oh shit, oh fuck, oh fuck, Steven, I-I..." Brendan stuttered like a freaking madman at what he'd done, finally able to get some words out.

"I-I-I-I-I'm sorry, I-I di-didn't mean to, I-I-I thou-though you were w-" He tried to speak again, but he slowly realised the extent of the damage he'd caused. His previous wordlessness was equaled by the steady flow of blood pouring out of his leg.

There was no saying sorry to this.

What he'd done was...was...

Brendan shook his head of that train of thought, no way that could happen. People didn't just die from one bullet, this was the 21st Century, they had things to take care of this, knowledge, technology, he just needed to find someone, anyone who could patch him up but oh god there was so much blood and he didn't know how to stop it. It was like he'd run into Kimberly, all over again, all on his own. Was this karmic revenge?

"Steven, I-I-I-" he tried to start a full sentence again, but...Steven was finally talking.

...Liz.

He...how could he know?

Steven knew that he was travelling with Liz, somehow, he knew that.

...how the hell was he going to tell him the truth? Liz was as good as dead, or probably even dead, and it was all his fault, he abandoned her, he left her to the terrorists and god knows what happened to Garret and Jeremy and Mirabelle...

Brendan swallowed, but tried to keep a scared face on and eye contact to the barest of minimums.

"I-I-I don't kn-know Steven, I-I-I have no idea, I was...I don't know where she is now..." Brendan tried to mumble off another lie (another lie?) to Steven as he almost tore apart the bag, looking for something.

Gauze, bandages, medicine, a scalpel, dressings, clips, soap, tape, a mask, gloves...he didn't know what to do first, there was so much blood, what did he do, what did he do, no idea, no idea...

"I-I don't know how to-to-to do this, I-I-I don't know anything, I-" Brendan managed to make out before becoming lost in another round of heavy, exasperated breathing.

Can't let this happen, can't let this happen, can't let this happen...

Brendan cupped his hands around his mouth and tried calling out.

"HELLO? I NEED HELP, IS THERE ANYONE THERE?" He screamed out painfully.

Please...
Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

I can't sing but I wrote you a song

Wrong notes but the melody's so clear

When I'm lost, I'm still close to gold

cause I found my treasure in you
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Brackie
Member Avatar
personification of adhd
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
It was almost a miracle, someone actually showed up. Out of the blue, Peter Siu was there, and he got to work.

Brendan tried to speak, tried to thank him for what he was doing, but...he couldn't even get a word out, his breathe pungently forcing itself out, without a word to follow it. He wiped his nose on his shirt sleeve, then tried again, only to let out a sick cough.

But he couldn't get it out any more than he could start singing showtunes, and he kept on working. Brendan kept close by, and tried to avoid eye contact with the boy who had to be trying to figure out what happened. It wasn't only that, it was worth all the effort in the world trying to stay there and not run away. He couldn't do that. He wouldn't do that.

And even through all of this, he was still trying to tell himself that he wasn't to blame. Once Steven got fixed up...

...why did Steven just grab his hand?

For all it was worth, Brendan agreed with Steven, then and there, before the reality of what was really happening started to sink in.

Steven wasn't getting out of this. His voice got weaker and weaker before he mumbled one final word, and then...

...come on, Steven, wake up.

...wake up.

...

...wake up, Steven.

...you can't sleep now, you're wounded, and you should know what happens to wounded people who fall asleep in movies and-


There was a painful movement in his stomach, almost like he'd punched himself there without realising it, and Brendan couldn't look away. Steven's closed eyes weren't staring back at him anymore, because...they weren't moving anymore.

Steven wasn't moving anymore. His chest wasn't pulsing, his mouth wasn't opening for breath, he was just...he was dead.

It only took a few precious moments for him to realise this, or at least for his body to factor it in. It involved a wave of cold sweeping throughout his nerves, freezing him to the spot like an ice sculpture, where he couldn't stop looking at his...his work. He'd felt like this only a few precious times in his life. When he was almost 13, and he realised he could be gay - when he was 16, and he was told his grandmother was dead, only a few weeks later when his grandfather followed her - when, that one time, after a movie marathon that involved Lexie accidentally supplying them with pot brownies without them knowing and he feared he may have slept with Chase while they were high...

But this...

...there were no true existing words to describe the array of emotions, reactions, and most of all actions that overtook his body. In there somewhere was the freight train which held every trace amount of guilt he'd ever felt in his life, and it was charging him, leading his emotional state through sheer ferocity and force. The only real words to sum up the situation were already bygone assumptions. Steven was dead. Brendan was responsible.

A few seconds of silence followed, and Brendan felt Steven's hand fall from his grasp, and onto the cave floor. He still couldn't speak. No sound came out of his gaping mouth, only a heavy distressed array of breaths. The punch in his stomach started to sting, almost like he'd lost something and his body didn't know what it was attacking.

There were no words for him to say, nothing was coming out.

A female voice scratched at the back of his head, but Brendan couldn't make anything legible out. The entire world was bluring into an abstract before his eyes, only Steven before him being of any humane description into his mind. Brendan's hands shook. His whole body shook violently like he was an earthquake, epi-centred.

Brendan didn't realise he'd done it, but slowly but surely, he was crawling backwards on his hands, just trying to get away. He didn't make it far, within a few seconds, he'd reached the cave wall behind him and thumped dully against the rock. He sat there, unmoving. Hands clenched in the dirt ground beneath him. His front covered in human remains and dead decomposers. Eyes glazed over, rarely blinking. Not teared. Just unmoving.

And every single sound in the world became a dull mute as Brendan's mind started to shut down.

System Error. Please try again later.
Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

I can't sing but I wrote you a song

Wrong notes but the melody's so clear

When I'm lost, I'm still close to gold

cause I found my treasure in you
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Brackie
Member Avatar
personification of adhd
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Were his mind in the right place, his eyes would have been clenched shut. In some strange other world, they probably were, but definitely not here. Brendan couldn't move, it was just impossible to tell his body what to do.

In fact...nothing was going through. He was still breathing, for sure, but no sound, no reflexive actions, not even a little twitch when his own gun was tote to his head. Those eyes just kept on staring into a little pocket of isolation a million miles away, and they didn't even blink when (to whoever's knowledge) someone started to yell threats against his life.

Even when that solo chorus was bound together with a cry of protest, he still didn't speak. He didn't speak, because he never wanted to say another word again as long as he lived. Because every single word that dripped out of his mouth wouldn't be the words of the shy, unworldly Australian boy who woke up dazed and confused like the rest of them over a week ago now.

No, the words that came out would be the words of a killer.

He'd done it. Danya was right all along, and Brendan was wrong. He'd sincerely hoped, out of the bottom leveled pits of his heart, that no one could honestly be reduced to this level, especially not him. Those false layers of paint were then stripped away with each passing breath, until the only thing left beneath was a black mound of matter, whatever used to be him.

It terrified him.

No matter which way you honey-coated it, the facts were facts. Brendan killed someone. Someone innocent, someone who wasn't a killer, or a psychopath, or a loony, or any level of barmy that registered on most sane levels of the human brain, just a scared guy, like him.

Millions of voices all screamed, only inside his head. They dug themselves down to his throat and tried to claw their way into his consciousness, trying to get him to say everything he was thinking.

You're a killer I didn't mean to what do I do what will they think I didn't mean to I tried to help him it makes it all better I didn't mean to who can trust me ever again what will they all thing I didn't mean to I was scared he wasn't speaking what was I supposed to think I didn't mean to why did I think I was important what are you going to do with me I'm scared I'm so scared right now what do I do I didn't mean to

You're a killer

I didn't mean to

I was scared

I'm so scared

What do I do

You're a killer...I didn't mean to, I was scared, I'm so scared, what do I do?

What do I do?


But still, nothing came out.

A hand grabbed all these desperate thoughts, and clenched onto them hard and fast.

Leave him alone.

He needs to figure this out for himself.

He needs all the time in the world.


If someone was watching, they could see him try to mouth a few words, if even only as weak as humanely possible. The lips shaped the meaning behind them, but they were only movements, with no sound following them.

'I didn't mean to...'

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

I can't sing but I wrote you a song

Wrong notes but the melody's so clear

When I'm lost, I'm still close to gold

cause I found my treasure in you
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Brackie
Member Avatar
personification of adhd
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Posting for a bit for Trav while he's away))
((Also, crap post is crap))

Cassarah could not believe a single word she was hearing. In all her time, she'd come across people like Peter, but only in theory, never with a single action behind their motivations. Aaron. He wanted to serve justice, but...he was just as inneffective as the rest of his group, Milo the mental retard included. But this...

There was a real threat here, not just to the poor boy on the ground behind Peter, but to Jackie. Peter had killed people, just like Jackie herself had killed, but they were different. Peter obviously didn't see it that way, and tried to...compare them?

Cassarah inhaled sharply at that particular notion, and...she let it all out.

"How dare you try to compare yourself to me, Peter." She spoke with confidence, and nothing was going to stop her, not that gun, not the threat of death, and not even the pleas inside herself begging her to hold back. "Are you talking about killing him for being a human being? This-this isn't war, Peter, it's terrorism, and you're taking part in it! You can't make these excuses for why you want to kill someone, for some...some petty vengeance. First thing you're saying that he deserves to die because he killed someone, and now you're absconding him for not hardening up like you are? Is that..."

She flicked her eyes down, then collected her words for the right thing to say.

"Is that why you murdered Jessie? Did she start crying too much, Peter? Is that what you've turned into, someone who goes around killing innocent people because they cry?"

Jackie didn't realise how much the words coming out of her mouth were going to shape what happened next.

*

Come on, Brendan, just hide.

Hide.

Like you always do.

Pathetic.

Killer.

You're even a pathetic killer.

Come on.

Hide.

Don't even try getting out of this.

You've gone too far.

Killer.

Murderer.

There's a reason he wants to kill you.

Killer.

Remember the word vigilante?

It applies aptly here.

He's a vigilante.

The island's knight in shining armour.

He's gonna save them.

He's gonna save them all.

He's gonna take out the people who deserve to die.

He's gonna be a hero.

You're just a name to him.

A statistic.

Not a person.

A statistic.

So go on.

Hide.

In your head.

Under someone's bed.

Just do it.

Hide.

Hide.

Hi-shut up shut up SHUT UP YOU ARE NEVER BEING LEFT ALONE AGAIN.

Who-

Here, answer this, ignore everything else, just answer his questions, quickly.

What do you think you-

"Why should he shoot you right now?" Come on, get this through, you don't have much time.

Because I deserve to li-

Not good enough, bam bam, you're dead. Think of something, but just tell yourself.

I...there's people I need to speak to-

Still not good enough, bam to the head. Come on. Think.

There's...I can't do anything else but liv-

That's exactly what he's waiting for. He's waiting for a confession that you are NOTHING but a waste of space. Do not give him that. Do not give him anything. Just tell it all to yourself. Just because you've shut off your brain it doesn't mean you're completely helpless. You've got help besides me.

What are you-

"Peter. He doesn't need this. It was obviously an accident."

Who-

Jackie Broughten. Anti-social social leper, just like you used to be. You people gotta stick together, huh? Well, don't take this opportunity for granted. She's distracted you, so now...get out of there.

How-

Get out of here. Get out of there. Just listen. You killed a boy named Steven Hunt. Accept that.

I...do. I do accept that. But how can I go on-

Easy. Do you know him?

Well...no.

Then stop whining. Wait until someone you love dies. Wait until your grief is worth spilling. Because it will happen, it's an inevitability.

You're wrong.

I'm right. I'm always. Right. I have been and I always will be right. So shut up, nut up, and get the hell out. Spill your grievances in your own time.

...

Here, I'll help you.


And Brendan took his first few blinks.

His retinas burned. His clothing smelt of mould.

But the messages remained intact.

He turned his head slowly towards the scene making its way to the forefront of his mind. There she was. There he was. Jackie Broughten and Peter Siu, both playing judge and jury with his life. They both wanted...wanted something to come of this kill.

But Brendan didn't know what to do, particularly as Jackie Broughten had caught a glimpse of him moving.

She blinked, flicking her eyes back to the scenic antagonist.

This is your first test, Jackie. You can save a life here, or you can end it. What will you do?

...

TELL ME.


"So who are you to decide who gets to live here? That shouldn't be in the hands of someone who obviously has good intentions. If you get to choose who lives over who dies...you're a monster. If you think you deserve that right, Peter...you're worse than every killer here."

A deafening roar accompanied her final insult, echoing. Jackie's feet were glued to the ground as Cassarah did not wish her to stray.

Perfect.

Jackie's eyes shot past the immediate threat and settle on the retreating figure.

Brendan.

He'd just gotten to his bag when he was assaulted once more by the pop of a gun. His reaction differed. He did not fear it.

He grabbed his bag, and he ran.

Jackie could have sworn she saw something fall out of the bag and clatter aimlessly on the rock and ground, but right now, her thoughts were on a mere celebration of her first real victory.

At least, Cassarah's victory.

It even ignored the beeping that had suddenly taken up occupancy of their thoughts.

Dear god, I'm going to die here...

((Brendan Wallace continues in Tabula Rasa))
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I can't sing but I wrote you a song

Wrong notes but the melody's so clear

When I'm lost, I'm still close to gold

cause I found my treasure in you
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