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In Honesty, We Didn't Plan This Far; Open, just let us all get in first.
Topic Started: Mar 13 2011, 04:38 PM (2,234 Views)
Badb
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Trained for combat by a cabal of hacktivists.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Dave Morrison, continued from -.-- -.-- --.. ))

In one brutal moment, everything that Dave had known, accepted, taken for a fact since he had woken up on the island was turned on its head and wrenched away from him.

He'd taken for granted that he'd be stuck with Izzy until one of them died- that was now gone. He'd taken for granted Roland was a complete dickwad who wouldn't do anything for anyone else's benefit- that too was gone. More importantly, he'd taken it for granted that they weren't going to be separated, end of.

Well, there he was, and they were gone. His friends- could he class Isabel, Roland, Charlie and Winnie as friends?- were gone, his stuff was gone, but more importantly, his safety net was gone.

It was then Dave realized that he was on his own from there on out.

It was a... weird feeling at first, knowing that for the first time in almost six days he was completely out of the comfort zone he'd spent an entire week working himself into, but Dave quickly managed to adjust to it, for a couple of reasons. First off, yeah, as it happened, he didn't split from everyone.

Sorry, he should probably have mentioned that one earlier. This whole time he'd been having all of these great realisations about how alone and fucked he was... they'd been carrying Leila, trying as hard as they could to not fuck up the work Helen had managed to do on trying to snap her arm back into place. While they couldn't exactly leave her behind, she wasn't exactly a great conversationalist, and Dave ended up having a lot of time to think.

She was practically catatonic when they found her, though, so they couldn't get anything out of her. Not who attacked her, or why, or if they'd attacked anyone else, or even if it was the same assholes who jumped them. When they had to run, she was just about passed out anyway. They couldn't just leave her behind, though. Dave almost took a bullet grabbing her. Long story. Dave wiped some sweat off his forehead with his free hand. Apparently, carrying people made Dave wax poetic about current events.

Struggling forwards, Dave took the brunt of Leila's weight to make her easier to hold up for the other, smaller girl- what was her name again? Didn't matter, they could talk when they needed to stop for a rest. How long had they been walking now?

Long enough. Let's stop.

"Hold up, guys." Dave stopped dead in his tracks and carefully began setting Leila down. "Let's rest for a bit. Take inventory, get our bearings."

Make a plan of where to go from here.

Dave frowned. "I left all my stuff back there."
V5:
B035 - Ray Gilbert - DECEASED - Guy Fawkes Mask - Too Far Gone
G029 - Zoe Leverett - DECEASED - Machete - To Really Be Alone, To Pick At All the Bones
[/spoiler]
Quote:
 
[18:10] <Laurels> WWJD? Fuck corpses, apparently

Quote:
 
[15:16] <Naft> My college once nearly burned down because someone tried to make a bong out of dollar bills and the fire alarm didn't work
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xylophonefairy
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gubernaculum
[ *  *  * ]
((Helen Wilson continued from ---,,-,-, somethingorother))

It had been pandemonium. Minutes after they had succeeded shapes had come out the the mist and they had been attacked, seemingly without provocation, though Roland hadn't seemed all that surprised by their presence. Still, to give him credit, he had distracted them all enough to give Helen and Dave time to heave Leila out of there. And from then they had moved as fast as they could, Dave taking the brunt of the work.

Still, she was relieved when he suggested a break.

"Fortunately for you," Helen said, dropping her bag obviously on the floor. "I managed to pick mine up." Looking around, she selected a flattish looking tree stump and perched herself upon it, taking a moment to survey her surroundings. This was the furthest north she had come on this island so far, and by the looks of it, she hadn't been missing out on much. She'd left Isabel's first aid kit back in the swamp, seeing as that was the one that had been thrown at her initially, but hers was still in good condition. She got it out and opened it, feeling like a doctor already. It's your only chance to be one... No! Shut up brain! Helen stood up and walked over to where Dave had set Leila down, looking critically at her patient. She was actually looking marginally better, either that, or Helen was just getting more used to it. There was only so much she could do about setting a broken elbow.

This was the point in the first aid books where they all said 'put affected arm in a sling and await medical attention'. Which was fine if some old lady fell over at the Mall, but here, she was the extent of medical attention as far as their group was concerned. And, well, she knew a lot less than she was lettting on. Helen chewed her lip nervously, looking at Leila and trying to read her face, before standing up, turning round, and walking a short way off, surveying their surroundings. They weren't too badly exposed here, if they all sat down they might manage to disguise themselves among the trees, Helen knew that her dull brown hair at least was pretty similar to that of the mutilated trunks. This place was creepy.

Turning back to face the others, she tried to keep the anxious expression off her face as she sat back down on her original stump. She looked briefly at Leila, then looked away, unnerved by the responsibility that had befell her, but not wanting anyone else to know how she felt. She needed to create a persona of being in control, partly so that she would continue to have a sort of protected status in the group as the one who might save their lives, and that in turn might help her to stay alive longer. By day seven, her own self centered thoughts were barely even causing her any disgust any more. Secondly, she looked at Dave without a bag, and her thoughts turned to food. She still had a fair bit, it had always been a characteristic of hers to not eat when stressed, and the last days had certainly been stressful. But she didn't have enough to feed both of them, and Dave was a boy, he presumably ate a lot.

Don't worry about that yet. You can... pick berries... or something...

"How is everyone else feeling?" Helen said, looking around the group, conveying a persona of calm that surprised even herself.
the world is on my side
i have no reason to run


v4 nostalgia

shiny shiny V5 concepts (now with clickies)
Phoebe Cho - I shall be playing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor. Wizard!
Harry Hanley - I've got Hershey's at half price today! Get 'em quick before I have rehearsal!
Lor Van Diepen - I'm gonna make a video later. About running. Does that sum me up enough?
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Ciel
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"That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.”
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
(Yeah, sorry guys. I'm going to to mass gm all you guys just to push inactive .)

(Kitty Gittschall continued from -.-- -.-- --..)

Kitty didn't complain when Dave had asked her to carry Leila. Her shoulder was better but it would still hurt to carry Leila. She could have said no, could have told him about the shoulder but that was the problem. No one in the group knew about her shoulder, and she sure as hell wasn't going to tell them now of all times. She most definitely did not want to look weak. Especially not with Roland gone, the terrific Roland, the superhero, the one who was stupid enough to stay back and fend off a bunch of loons.

"God damn it," she grumbled to herself. "... Selfish idiot."

She wondered why she could not get Roland out of her mind. She didn't even like him. He was just stupid for thinking that he had to save them. God damn it. She was mad and she wasn't sure why.

Helen asked how the others were doing. Kitty didn't respond, but she gave Helen a very sour look. How was she doing? Why the hell was she asking that? Helen seem to notice her look, though her calm appearance held firm. Kitty looked away. That wasn't the question they should be asking, and Kitty understood that. What they should be asking is "What next?" The group was all but broken up now.

Of course she wasn't going to be the one to ask that. She was going to keep to the background for now.

Kitty turned to Dave. Apparently the boy had left his stuff. She certainly didn't feel any pity for him. Despite that, she grabbed for her bag and opened it up, pulling her map out.

"You can use my map," she asked, averting her eyes. "I haven't used it in days, better for you to get some use out of it."

Dave took it without saying a word. Not even a thank you. Whatever. Kitty tried her best not to let it bother her. At least he wasn't complaining anymore.
V6

G052 - Reed, Jasmine - 0% - Falchion - START END
G060 - Pfeiffer, Scout - 100% - Sawlaska Thunderfuck 5000 - START
G025 - Reyes, Audrey - 0% - Nunchaku - START END

releases greatest hits album, is an one-hit wonder
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Badb
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Trained for combat by a cabal of hacktivists.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Sure, Dave took it without saying a word, but he had his reasons! Not the least of which was his utmost concentration at the present moment at getting Leila on the floor without snapping her other arm, which was a lot harder than it looked, actually, considering that he had to pick up a map with his teeth midway through.

Okay, so maybe it wasn't literally with his teeth and maybe Leila was already on the ground, but he had a point, right?

"Top of the world, Chief." Dave shook his head at Helen asking how they were. Dumb question, when you really thought about it. It blew Dave’s mind that she couldn’t figure that out just from looking at the state of themselves. They were starved, for one thing. Barely eating or drinking for a week had left Dave exhausted, his lips cracked and dry and his stomach perpetually empty. "You guys?"

The thought of food made him realise just how boned they were. If they weren't killed, they were going to starve. Dave was sure of this now. But even if they got food, would it be any help? He'd heard terrifying stories from his brothers, back at home, when they'd meet up with him at lunch and tell him stories of what they'd learned that day in History or whatever lesson they had. One day, they'd decided to tell Dave all about the lesson they had on POWs in World War II, and how when they were freed, they'd die from the rations they were given because the food wouldn't digest in their weakened stomachs.

Could that happen here? Dave wasn't sure, but the though chilled him to the bone.

"So wait, we're missing... Izzy, Winnie, and ...that douche Roland?" Dave said something to take his mind off of that, looked down at the map Kitty had handed him, but it was useless. He couldn't tell where they were, where they'd come from, anything. Roland probably could, or Izzy, but none of that shit mattered because Roland had probably gotten himself killed and Izzy was long gone into the sunset with the plans. Fuck them. They weren’t the ones left behind to clear up this whole mess.

No, fuck them. Seriously. Dave was done with all these plots and escape attempts and dragging burnt assholes into rivers because they figured out a new way to piss the terrorists off. He had no idea how the fuck he was even still standing, honestly. How all of their heads hadn’t had a messy divorce with their necks just for helping Liz, let alone all the other shit they had done.

He shrugged at that one. Maybe in the grand scheme of things they were nothing, a minor inconvenience ignored for the larger problem. They were probably being left to run around to boost their confidence so Danya could get a good hearty chuckle out of them before pressing the big red button and stopping their swan boat escape to freedom in its tracks.

Dave pulled his hat over his eyes and sat down. At this point, whatever happened to them was probably deserved.

---

((Leila Langford, continued from -.-- -.-- --.., in a post that will be up in a bit~))
V5:
B035 - Ray Gilbert - DECEASED - Guy Fawkes Mask - Too Far Gone
G029 - Zoe Leverett - DECEASED - Machete - To Really Be Alone, To Pick At All the Bones
[/spoiler]
Quote:
 
[18:10] <Laurels> WWJD? Fuck corpses, apparently

Quote:
 
[15:16] <Naft> My college once nearly burned down because someone tried to make a bong out of dollar bills and the fire alarm didn't work
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Ciel
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"That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.”
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
(sorry guys, gotta get this girl back up and running. D:)

Kitty still didn't respond to Dave's question. She refused. She wasn't in the mood to lie about how she was feeling. She did enough of that back home. She had no energy to wiggle under the cracks and get on people's good sides. Kitty just wanted to go home.

Dave told them who was missing. Kitty didn't care so much. She could easily tell who wasn't with them! She didn't need Dave telling her this. No, she wasn't thinking about that. Dave called Roland a douche and Kitty decided to speak up again after a minute of silence.

"Don't talk about him like that," Kitty found herself mumbling.

Why was she defending him? He was an idiot. She didn't like him. But....

Her chest throbbed at the mere thought of giving that man any credit, but his actions did buy them time. There could have been a thousand things he could have done that didn't involve him throwing himself into the line of fire. She wished there could have been another way that didn't involve him running out like an idiot, and the thought of him swiping one of her grenades and making himself some sort of heroic martyr made her gnash her teeth... but. But. No matter how she tried to roll the query in her head, no matter how long she thought about it, she could not deny that his sacrifice was the reason that they were alive. Maybe that was the reason why she was so mad - Kitty was actually thankful for something Roland had done.

"Roland was - IS an idiot who thinks that he is the hero in his own blockbuster." Kitty explained. Dave didn't ask, she knew that. "A selfish, naive boyscout. But he's the idiot who saved us."

Why the hell was she defending him again? She kept asking herself that, even though she knew it wouldn't bring her the answers that she needed. She could have gone on, telling Dave about his hero complex. About how every action Dave took somehow focused on keeping Kitty and everyone safe. That he, no matter how much she hated him, was the reason she was alive. About how, if it wasn't for him and his naive belief in this so-called escape plan, she would be killing herself. There was so much she could have told Dave. Perhaps Dave would have thought twice about thinking so badly of Roland.

But she didn't. Because Dave dropped to his knees and pushed his hat over his head.

And she completely forgot about Roland. Her anger was rising steadily.

"... is that it?" Kitty asked, her voice soft yet with a very sharp edge. "No speeches? No battle cries? Just... this?"
V6

G052 - Reed, Jasmine - 0% - Falchion - START END
G060 - Pfeiffer, Scout - 100% - Sawlaska Thunderfuck 5000 - START
G025 - Reyes, Audrey - 0% - Nunchaku - START END

releases greatest hits album, is an one-hit wonder
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xylophonefairy
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gubernaculum
[ *  *  * ]
Helen shrugged at Dave's sarcastic response, lacking the energy to feel offended, and accepting that she'd probably had said something similar if the roles were reversed. She couldn't help but whisper under her breath, out of earshot of Dave and Kitty at the very least, "at least we're still alive..." When she was younger, Helen would sometimes lie at night, staring at her ceiling, the same thought running through her mind that would gain momentumm every time she thought it until she was able to distract herself from it. I am a real, living, breathing person. I can make decisions. I'm alive! A real, breathing person. I mave a mind, it is thinking this. If I want to raise my right hand and wave it about in the air, I can. Because I am a real, living, breathing person, and I have control over her body. The waving her arms about in the air thing had sometimes confused her sister when they were younger and still shared a bedroom. But the point was, that Helen had never failed to appreciate the miraculousness that was being alive.

What are the odds of me existing? she would often think to herself. The answer was probably unimaginably small, no matter what parameters she went by. The right sperm, the right egg. The right month. The same office offering both her parents a job back in the eighties. Her parents both being born from the union of the right sperm and the right egg of the two sets of grandparents. Then, once she'd gone through all her ancestors and back to the single celled organisms they all came from, what were the odds of Earth existing the right distance away from a docile sun for water to form. The odds of the bg bang happening in the way it did so that all the bits went to the right places.

And as she sat and watched Kitty and Dave argue about Roland and his relative contributions to the group, she found that she simply couldn't be bothered. She hadn't gotten the chance to get to know Roland well, didn't feel like she had the authority to comment unless specifically asked, and in fact, felt like having a nap, right here on her tree stump. Suddenly, acutely, she became aware of the collar nestled around her neck, could feel her carotid pulse quicken against it. Was there someone watching her now, watching her pulse get fast as she stared at the ground. For all they knew she might have just figured out a way to escape. Actually she had just had a development on those years of idle thought.

What are the odds of me not existing? Well I'm here, so it must be zero. So the odds of me existing are a resounding, absolute, one. I am supposed to be here. Helen frowned at that thought, it was getting a bit too close to admitting that Genesis was true; that God created the world in seven days for her atheist leaning agnostic mind to accept. Instead she glanced up to look at the others, worrying where Winnie might have gotten to.

"This is all there is," Helen said dully in response to Kitty, not quite getting the correct understanding of her question, interpreting it more as a philosophical query. "At least three of us, probably four, are going to die in the next few days, and after that there is nothing. These are our last fucking days on Earth, and I don't even have the energy to enjoy them. All the things I never did..." Helen trailed off, looking at the floor again, feeling shamed by her sudden outburst and the fact that the only thing that popped into her mind was the fact that she'd never had sex. Stealing a glance at Dave, that thought of asking him flitted into her mind like a disease she couldn't control, and she immediately suppressed it with a blush. Dying a virgin, how very angelic...
the world is on my side
i have no reason to run


v4 nostalgia

shiny shiny V5 concepts (now with clickies)
Phoebe Cho - I shall be playing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor. Wizard!
Harry Hanley - I've got Hershey's at half price today! Get 'em quick before I have rehearsal!
Lor Van Diepen - I'm gonna make a video later. About running. Does that sum me up enough?
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Badb
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Trained for combat by a cabal of hacktivists.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
His headache was getting worse.

"Alright, Alright." Dave shook his head. "I get it, Roland probably saved our lives. I get it."

Dave looked down at his watch. It was early, far too early for him to really argue right now. He needed to leave for a while, find his stuff, clear his head a little before he went insane.

"The problem is, this really doesn't change the fact his dumb ass probably got itself killed while doing it, and he can't fucking help anyone while he's dead, can he?" Dave put a hand up to his temple. "Or, there's the fact that his dumb ass, and Izzy's, have pretty much left us to die, regardless."

Dave needed food, too. Dave realised he hadn't eaten in a while; or drank for that matter. Not much he could do about that without his stuff. Helen still had her stuff, but that wasn’t going to last long, and the rest of the group needed it more than he did.

So Dave made a choice. He was going back to the swamp. He'd go get his stuff back, and on the way, he could think. Two birds, one stone.

"Alright, guys. Y'know what?" He turned to the rest of the group. "Fuck this. I'm gonna head back to the swamp and try and find our stuff. If I'm not back in..."

Dave checked his watch. "...an hour or two, either something's gone wrong, or I just don't give a fuck any more."

Just a precaution. Dave didn't expect there'd be any chance that he would run into anyone on the way there. He hadn't run into anyone so far, so why would he run into anyone this one time? Didn't make any sense, really. He'd be back soon enough, right?

Though he admittedly had an interest in their response to him bitching about abandonment only to up and leave them himself, Dave didn't wait for a response.

Hands in his pockets, David Morrison vanished into the trees.

((Dave Morrison, continued in Delirium.))
V5:
B035 - Ray Gilbert - DECEASED - Guy Fawkes Mask - Too Far Gone
G029 - Zoe Leverett - DECEASED - Machete - To Really Be Alone, To Pick At All the Bones
[/spoiler]
Quote:
 
[18:10] <Laurels> WWJD? Fuck corpses, apparently

Quote:
 
[15:16] <Naft> My college once nearly burned down because someone tried to make a bong out of dollar bills and the fire alarm didn't work
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Ciel
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"That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.”
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
... he wasn't coming back, was he?

Kitty was sure she had been waiting for some time. He said he would be back in a hour or two, and it had to be much longer than that. The swamp was by no means halfway across the island. It was a trek, sure, but not a journey. Kitty was sure she had dozed off sometime ago, and woke up with only Helen by her side. Did something happen to him? Probably. For all Kitty knew, Roland was dead too. She found herself less worried about Dave. Guy was an asshole anyway.

... perhaps she was a tad worried. She was becoming sympathetic.

Kitty sat up. She squeezed her arm. It was feeling much better. She stretched both of her arms out, feeling no pain past a little discomfort. Nowhere near as good as before... but she could manage. She smiled for a second, to no on but herself. Then it disappeared.

She turned to Helen and cleared her throat.

"I'll be back," she said after a time. "I'm going to go look-"

She stopped herself. Not even she could lie about that. She cleared her throat.

"If you want to follow me, you can. I don't mind." Or rather she didn't care.

Yes, Kitty found herself without a care in the world. She sighed, picked up her bag and slowly trudged off.

(Kitty continued in Not Too Far Away)
Edited by Ciel, May 4 2011, 08:15 PM.
V6

G052 - Reed, Jasmine - 0% - Falchion - START END
G060 - Pfeiffer, Scout - 100% - Sawlaska Thunderfuck 5000 - START
G025 - Reyes, Audrey - 0% - Nunchaku - START END

releases greatest hits album, is an one-hit wonder
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Hallucinojelly
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God was telling you "not yet".
[ *  *  *  * ]
((Leila Langford continued from -.-- -.-- --..))

"Aaaaand, repeat."

"We are the best that we can be. We are magnificent."

"And again."

"We are the best that we can be. We are magnificent."

"Again."

"We are the best that we can be. We are magnificent."

"Again."

"We are the best that we can be. We are magnificent."

"Again."

"We are the best..."

---

"...that we- that we- that, ugh... what..."

Her mouth felt dry; her head throbbed; her muscles felt weak and limp, and she had no idea where she was. Familiar voices came and went around her, but it was too hard to focus on who they belonged to, or even what they were saying. All she heard were echoes and parts of words which made no sense on their own, and after they'd all died down, she felt a great sense of relief.

Now it was time to open her eyes - to wake up and start getting back into the game. It was a nice rest while it lasted, but she had a feeling it would be the last one she'd get for a while. In any case, staying unconscious around here was an invitation for disaster, especially since most people that were left standing were either murderers or just a teensy bit mad. And not the good mad either, like the Hatter or an eccentric professor, no, this was the other definition, the terrifying one that meant they had to do everything in their power to make sure they didn't end up the same way in the future. How long had it been since the bus ride? Fuck. Way too long, apparently, if she couldn't even remember how many days had passed. She recalled her awakening in that fun fair, all by herself, crying in the dirt as the situation dawned on her. Back then, she assumed this was all a joke; a prank concocted by some seriously messed-up individuals. But the more she thought about it, the more correct it sounded. Who in their right minds would come up with something so twisted? Sure, the news called them terrorists, and branded them a threat, but they were so much more than that. Whoever these people were, whoever Danya was, there was only one thing that kept them going, and that was pure sadism.

And knowing that made things so much easier. She had a goal now. A real, honest goal that she could call her own. Before, she was driven solely by revenge, but now that she had time to really think about everything, as her body started warming back up again, she was met with several realizations. Firstly, she knew that there was no escape. There was no point trying to fool herself into hoping for rescue, or that people would have mercy on her, because that just wasn't the case. Brook had shown her that, and Hilary's eyes had told her the same. She felt herself clutch at the band around her wrist, pulling it around, stretching it to its limits. The memories were still painful; however long ago it might have seemed, it still only happened a few days ago. The hollow aching she kept in her chest reminded her of this. So, she moved on to the second point, and pushed those feelings down until she felt herself grow numb again. It was the only way to keep going, she told herself. She couldn't let her mind linger on things that would stop her mission, because she knew that there would be a better time for that. Once she was ready to die, and she'd succeeded, then she could cry. That was something she was looking forward to more than anything. A chance to let go.

But! She felt herself tearing up again. Too much reflecting, not enough planning. Push it down, out of sight. Her second point was still bubbling away, pushing her onwards, making her forget. She knew what the "terrorists" were now, and that meant something. She knew about Liz from the announcements, and that they rewarded any misbehaviour with brutal punishment; death. If only she were smarter, she could use this to formulate a real plan, something that would throw them off their own for good, but she grew frustrated instead. Angry with herself for not being strategic or clever, for wasting her time on things that meant nothing to anyone here. For a second she pictured Violet, and wondered how she'd managed to stay alive for so long, but she already knew why. She'd always been so capable, so head-on, unlike herself. What good had she ever done? What achievements did she have under her belt? She couldn't think of any. Of course not. Leila had always thought she was so high and mighty, bossing everybody around like she was some fucking queen, but she was beginning to understand herself now; she was starting to see what everybody else saw, and it looked to her like the most disgusting thing in the world.

That's why she needed to do this. That's why she needed to keep on fighting. Not just for Hilary, not just for herself; she needed to make sure this never happened again. If she had to kill everyone else to get to Danya, she would. If she had to cut off that useless arm of hers just to sneak in through his window, she would. Nothing mattered any more, not here. There was no time, there was no space, there was no "good", or light, and the only friends she had left were elsewhere, surviving so well without her to drag them down. She found herself falling ever deeper into the devil's eye with every waking breath, and now she could look him right back. She didn't have a gun, she was on the brink of collapse, and as her eyes began to open, she saw the shadow of a girl beside her, though it was impossible to distinguish who she was. Her eyes fell to the floor, and she noticed her arm for the first time. Had this girl actually helped her? Had someone been looking out for her while she slept? Was that true?

The devil's eye blinked, and she almost missed it.

A cold silence filled the air, and for a split second - a shining, wonderful second - she smiled.
Hello again.
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xylophonefairy
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gubernaculum
[ *  *  * ]
Dave left. Then Kitty left. When Kitty left, Helen got up and started to follow her, taking two steps before guilt took over, and she looked back at Leila. She couldn't leave her, not after leaving Liz. Somewhere inside her brain, she suspected that they wouldn't be coming back. People didn't come back in this came. They went away, and they died, and every goodbye was actually a goodbye. There was no offhand "see you tomorrow" the way they used to at school.

How had she said goodbye to her Mom when they'd set off on the trip? Helen could barely remember, it had been an offhand farewell, any hug or any "I love you's" would make her cry, even if it was just a week. She had no idea how she was going to move to California come Fall. How could she possibly be away from them for so long? Suddenly, acutely, she became aware that she was never going to see her Mom again. Never. Never feel those arms that were so familiar, the ones she used to stroke when she was younger and was unable to sleep, and even now, at eighteen, when she got ill there was nothing quite so comforting as clinging on to her mother's forearm, pressing her cheek against it until she fell asleep, like she was a baby again. Alone, with only the semi-conscious Leila for company, she sat on the floor, forehead resting on an arm propped on her bent knees. Her other hand rubbed her stomach gently. And below her, a couple of shoots of grass were watered with the first tears she had allowed herself to spill.

This was what she had been afraid of, getting time to think. Back in the Ranger station, even though there was slince, there was betting on Isabel and Dave's noughts and crosses games, there was riding on the exercise bike and reading her book. Things to keep busy. But she'd finished her book and all of a sudden she was there, alone with her thoughts. And thinking was a dangerous acticity right now, it made her think of home, and her Mom, her Dad and her sister. The apple tree they spent their entire childhood trying to climb, and Helen being angry when Jenna succeeded first. The little wooden house in the garden that was full of spiders, but had names written all over the walls in chalk. Every time a friend visited the house when they were younger, and it was warm enough to play out, they would write their name inside the little wooden house. It was a chronicle of their childhood, and accidental guest book, a memory. She didn't even know half those kids now, they went to different schools, moved away, some were still in her grade now but they didn't even smile when they passed in the corridors.

Leila stirred, and Helen jumped as the girl made the briefest second of eye contact, and smiled. Helen wiped tears away from under her eyes furiously with her forearm, sniffing and trying to shine her torch into the girl's eyes. That was the sort of thing they did in TV shows, she was never quite sure why. Something about the pupils reacting, them not reacting was a sign of brain damage. Helen didn't know what she would do if they didn't; she could barely fix an arm, let alone a brain injury.

Her abdomen twinged, and Helen winced. That had been happening, on and off, since just after Kitty left. Hunger pains. Or anxiety. Or emotional pain. Nothing serious. She had much bigger things to think about than a bit of an ache in the middle of her abdomen. Like not dying, and trying to stop Leila dying as well. Trying to make it home without having to kill anyone. That message, with the trumpet, it wasn't enough. They needed to do it another way as well.

"Hey," she said softly, putting a hand on Leila's shoulder and hoping her tired eyes didn't look too conspicuous as she peered into the girl's face. Diagnostics 101: face's reveal a lot. Eyes for jaundice, mouth for cyanosis. As do hands. All sorts of things show up on the hands. "How're you doing?" That question might have provoked scorn from Dave and Kitty, and Helen bit her lip anxiously, feeling that any response would be a good thing.

The pain was getting worse.
the world is on my side
i have no reason to run


v4 nostalgia

shiny shiny V5 concepts (now with clickies)
Phoebe Cho - I shall be playing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor. Wizard!
Harry Hanley - I've got Hershey's at half price today! Get 'em quick before I have rehearsal!
Lor Van Diepen - I'm gonna make a video later. About running. Does that sum me up enough?
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Hallucinojelly
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God was telling you "not yet".
[ *  *  *  * ]
A harsh light struck her eyes, forcing them to close. Who was doing that?

Then, a familiar voice.

It carried a shaking concern, as though the girl was worried about her. Names spiralled around in her memory; names from school, names she knew, but never gave a face. This one... it sounded like someone small. Feeble maybe. Her hand felt light on Leila's shoulder, like she was trying not to hurt her. Did that make her kind? Possibly. Probably. Since the girl was still with her, for however long she'd been out, she assumed she must have been. It was far too pleasant a feeling. Even her arm hurt a little less while she was lying here, cradled in the grass by a girl she barely knew.

She decided to answer.

"My... my head's a bit... everywhere, but... yeah. I can see you, whoever... you are. You are a person, right? I'm not... dreaming... am I?"

Her speech was impaired by the lulling of her breath, which came in long, drawn-out gasps as her body fought to stay asleep. Everything ached, including her head, and the more she spoke, the sharper the pains in her arm began to grow. It came like fine needles, attacking every nerve ending she had in that once-crooked arm of hers. She did what she could to distract herself from it, but now that she was awake it was starting to cause her some distress.

So she asked, very weakly: "I... don't suppose... you've got any pills?"
Hello again.
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xylophonefairy
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gubernaculum
[ *  *  * ]
Gently stroking her abdomen, Helen nodded along to what Leila was saying, playing along to her role as nurse. In reality, she had very little idea what she was doing. This was all alien to her, it was supposed to be years and years before she was looking after patients of her own. She glanced up, the sky was rapidly darkening.

"I assure you, I'm completely real," Helen said, fighting off her brain as it tried to go down the philosophical route. She was tempted to say but if I was a dream I'd say that anyway, deciding that amusing as it would be, confusing your already slightly confused patients was looked down upon. Helen looked at the arm, which appeared to be causing her some pain, and jumped at the chance of producing pills. "Ooh, yes!" Helen said, a little excitedly, scrambling painfully to her feet and managed to walk, doubled over, to her bag which she rifled through enthusiastically. Eventually she produced a packet of Tylenol and a bottle of water, which she brought back over to Leila. She popped two pills out and uncapped the bottle of water, handing them to the girl to manouvre how she preferred.

"I think we should sleep for a bit. You need to rest, and I think I ate some dirt or something as my stomach is playing up," she tried to rationalise her own pain, which was nothing like any acid she'd ever experienced. Helen made herself a rudimentary bed; she was getting very good at sleeping on the floor, or just not sleeping at all. She'd barely slept since they had left the Ranger station two days (was that it? She was starting to lose track) previously.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~T~I~M~E~~~S~K~I~P~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The announcement woke her up. Helen moaned as she stirred from the worst nights sleep she had experienced in her life. It had taken her hours to drop off, as her abdomen throbbed and the pain oh so slowly started to localise to what she was fairly sure was called the right iliac fossa. That was bad. Very, very bad. Her heart began to thud painfully, as the announcement washed over her.

But then, names. Specifically, in an inconspicuous part towards the end of the list, Dave's name.

"David Morrison just toppled over dead. Reviewing the footage, it seems he hadn't eaten in a while, so we'll put this down to dehydration. Or AIDS."

"No, no, nononono," Helen said, sitting up. That was Dave dead. Winnie and Roland had died the previous day (she had been sitting here longer than she realised). Of all of them that had been there, all of them that knew what they had done, they were dropping like flies. There had been eight of them; herself, Isabel, Dave, Winnie, Charlie, Feo, Roland and Kitty. Half of them had died. "No, Dave, I had food. We had enough for a couple of days. Stupid, stupid, stupid," Helen said, slowly rocking herself. Gently, she closed her eyes, and then the pain came back. For a moment, it had been dulled by the shock of Dave's death.

She hoped that the others were still doing okay. They had to be, right? If you weren't dead, then you were alive. If you were alive, you were either healthy or sick. If you were healthy, there was no need to worry. If you were sick, it could be one of two things. It could be serious or not serious. If not serious, then there was no need to worry. If serious, you were either dead or alive. If alive, there was no need to worry. If you were dead, you couldn't worry.

And by this theory, a soldier never worries.

But... I'm not a soldier! I'm a wannabe pre-med student who more likely than not has developed appendicitis on an island where, as far as she is aware, she is the most highly trained person. Or in the top few, at least. Treatment for appendicitis; surgery. I am going to have to perform my first every surgery. On myself. On an island where everyone wants to kill me.

Where is the only place to do surgery? A hospital.
Helen checked her map, her finger tracing from where she estimated they were to the infirmary. It really wasn't all that far at all. We need to go to the infirmary.

Looking over at Leila, she appeared to be better after her night's sleep. Or, perhaps, that was just her mind wanting to believe that. Standing up in a hurried gesture, Helen clutched at her belly and let out a moan before she had time to try and supress it. Squeezing her eyes shut until the moment passed, she started to collect together her belongings; the book that she had started to reread, her low battery iPod (she had been wearing the headphones and trying to imagine the sings, it wasn't very effective).

"We have to go," Helen said abruptly, folding the jumper she had been using as a pillow and putting it neatly into her bag. She scrunched her eyes against the morning light, scrutinising Leila. "I need to go to the infirmary, get something for this stomach bug," why can't you say it out loud? She stood up and with a sudden, overwhelminf rush of pain, she winced and squeezed her eyes closed, waiting for the wave to pass. Once it had, she turned towards Leila, and nodded, before starting off slowly, breaking into a run before the first ten metres were out.

((Helen Wilson continued in Surgical Interventions))
the world is on my side
i have no reason to run


v4 nostalgia

shiny shiny V5 concepts (now with clickies)
Phoebe Cho - I shall be playing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor. Wizard!
Harry Hanley - I've got Hershey's at half price today! Get 'em quick before I have rehearsal!
Lor Van Diepen - I'm gonna make a video later. About running. Does that sum me up enough?
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Hallucinojelly
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God was telling you "not yet".
[ *  *  *  * ]
And then she was gone.

She'd tried to follow her, tried to keep up, but Helen was much too fast. Leila's legs wouldn't stabilise, and her head still throbbed from the little sleep she'd been having, and after a good hour or so of running haphazardly through the thickets and the trees that cropped up at the edge of the forest, she finally lost her.

Countless times she'd asked Helen to slow down, but something kept her going; it was like she could hear someone calling her name from afar, only Leila couldn't hear it herself and simply lagged behind in a mixture of lethargy and confusion. The only good thing about this day was that her arm felt a little less sharp, and as such caused her a lot less pain than it had done before she fell asleep. Maybe it was something Helen did to her while she was out, or maybe the splint had actually done some deal of good after all. The pills helped too, of course, but she didn't know when she'd find some more, especially now that she'd lost her supply.

She thought back to the fun fair.

If she was lucky enough, as lucky as she had been yesterday, then perhaps she could find her way back again. Her bag had landed on the ferris wheel, and though she couldn't reach it at the time due to... well, Gracie, there was a chance that it could still be there. Hopefully it would be. She could do with another miracle like that. Finding a group of people who turned out to be helpful was a lovely change of pace, however briefly they were around for, but now she was on her own again, and she needed to survive.

There was a list somewhere, in her mind's eye, that reminded her of all the stuff she'd brought onto the trip. Mostly it was clothes, make-up, etc., but Leila had always been a bit iffy about nature, or rather, spending any length of time in it, so she'd been fully prepared for a day like this. Oh yes. If she could just knock the bag down somehow, she'd be golden. After that, she could reassess her situation, then formulate a plan. What kind of plan? A shitty one, most likely, but she was in it for the long haul now, and since she'd managed to stay alive despite her condition, there was hope that tomorrow would yield a similar kind of magic.

A twig snapped in the distance, and she realised how open the area was.

It was time to get moving, with or without her guardian angels.

((Leila Langford continued elsewhere))
Hello again.
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