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Confiscate the Crown; [Day 10- Private]
Topic Started: Jun 24 2011, 11:49 AM (3,480 Views)
Chib
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
[Huge surprise! Guess who came to save the day.]

[Hatful of Hollow --> Ema Ryan]

In spite of herself, hunger was perhaps the biggest thing on Ema's mind as she travelled. There was a convoluted thought process behind it all, one she constantly reminded herself of by simply having to remember why each contributing factor aligned in such a way that left her exhausted and hungry, and a little thirsty, too. Primarily, she feared to stop because, being covered in blood and all, anybody coming across her would probably react with as much panic as she had to cause said blood to get there in the first place, and do to her what she'd done to Sapphire and Maf. Now, she could wash that blood off, and do a more adequate job of cleaning off her sword whilst she was at it, but that would involve a major detour to either the north or south to find one of the nearest rivers. The thought was appealing, getting clean and non-terrifying, as well as how they were probably clean enough to fill her dwindling water supply from. But she had a mission, she was searching for Hayley, the last remotely normal thing left in her little world. Hayley Kelly, her first and presumably last love, her companion, her guardian. The reason she was still alive and more-or-less sane. In the event anything had happened to Hayley, Ema had no intention of arriving late to stop it.

But, on the very same point, she didn't want to miss her, by going too far too quickly, or simply not noticing obvious tracks or signs of recent conflict. So progress was slow regardless, with Ema weaving around, mostly randomly, hoping to find some sign of the girl, whilst watching her own back all the while, ensuring she wasn't headed for a similar fate to... must be about 230 of her peers, by now. It took a while for that number to sink in - though luckily, Ema had plenty of walking time to let it - the sheer magnitude of what that meant. When the first one, or two, or even ten had died, they'd all been quite a big deal. A person has died. Two people have died. Lots of people have died. But it had risen now to such an absurd number it was impossible to properly visualise, impossible to figure out how to feel. 230 wasn't a person, it was just a statistic by now. When it ultimately rose to 275, would it look that much bigger? What difference did a few more lives make? What difference do they make, so long as I get to be the one that lives?

It was late when Ema arrived at what immediately stuck out as her destination. Before she arrived, the now-familiar smell of gunpowder on the wind tipped her off, and following that cue, she soon found the trail of blood, thinning the further she went, leading to what she deduced must be its origin, where the wound had been inflicted; after all, whilst dry, it was still quite red and quite not-disturbed-by-wildlife, so the blood must be moderately fresh. And if nobody was at the end of it? She could just follow it the other way, find out where they'd stopped after leaving. Totally foolproof. I'm a genius. Not like they'll be jumpy or paranoid if they're still alive, definitely not. Yeah, get that gun ready love.

The blood ended in a small pool, where the wounded must have been for a few moments, paralysed by shock or knocked to the floor or something, before managing to flee and leave that handy red trail behind. But those thoughts were processed and shelved under "Unimportant" incredibly quickly, because a few metres away lay a small bundle of something that, despite being obviously Hayley, defied identification for several seconds. Because Hayley was immortal, she was the indestructible wall between Ema and certain death, she couldn't be laying beaten and bloodied on the ground, unconscious or deNo she's unconscious she isn't dead she can't be dead no no no no no don't be dead please don't be dead.

"Hayley!"

No response.

She was quick to drop her sword where she stood and rush to Hayley's side, careful, yet urgent, in rolling her over onto her side. The recovery position? Ema was pretty sure that was what it was, the position you're meant to put an unconscious casualty into as soon as possible, for first aid and all the good, non-deathy stuff. With her gun still in a vice-grip in her left hand, Ema felt for a pulse on the girl's neck, growing frantic as she didn't find it as instantly as she'd like. In a matter of seconds, which passed as though they were years, she confirmed that Hayley's heart was still beating, discomfortingly softly. Awake or not, it seemed all too weak. But she was alive, barely or not, that was the important part.

So, setting her daypack aside, Ema found an already-ruined shirt and tore off one of the few remaining clean sections, using it along with some water to clean the blood off of Hayley's face. She considered rinsing the blood from her mouth, too, but decided against it, afraid of choking her. Instead, she opted to wipe away as much of the dried blood on her on face as she could, which soon showed itself to be an effort in futility.

There was nothing left to do, really, except wait and hope for Hayley to wake up, and stick around until she either did, or... God forbid, the other option. So Ema sated her thirst with a swig of water, made short work of some of the remaining bread, and regretted not pilfering extra supplies from Maf's bag when she'd had the chance. She switched her handgun to her right hand, and, like many times before, she waited.
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


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

The Past
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Chib
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
Heh, that one looks a bit like a Dalek... man they'd be unstoppable on this thing, unless they were the old ones... I miss non-flying Daleks...

Ema wasn't sure how long she'd been sitting there, looking over at Hayley every so often, waiting for some obvious signal that her condition had changed, whether that be for better or worse. For the first few minutes, she'd outright stared, willing the other girl to get better by sheer mental determination. But it didn't last long, Ema got bored easily at the best of times, and soon she was so restless that she spent the next how ever long it was pacing around, assuring herself it was a patrol, making sure they weren't being snuck up on by someone, maybe the original assailant back to finish what they'd started. But that hadn't lasted terribly long either, and in the end, she settled for leaning against a tree, watching clouds through a small gap in the leafy canopy. Every so often she'd catch sight of a whole individual one, and every so often one of them would actually look like something worth waiting to see. It was a simple pleasure, but it kept Ema content for the third leg of her vigil.

Eventually, she looked down from her Dalek-based observations, to find Hayley's eyes open. She almost didn't notice, to begin with. Being a good few feet away, it was hard to tell the whites of her eyes apart from the pale of her eyelids. But then the girl looked up at her, and Ema could certainly tell the difference between white skin and light brown iris - she'd looked into them enough times to recognise them, after all. Did that mean she was awake? Probably, Ema had never heard of people opening their eyes in the sleep, at least not at complete random, yeah, actually, she was pretty sure some people had a history of it, but it started off early, like in their chi-- Focus, woman. Neither the possible existence of sleeping-with-eyes-open-disorder nor the details of its assumed childhood onset were even remotely important at the moment, and Hayley was awake and not dead and thank fuck she isn't dead.

"Hey."

Ema hurried back to Hayley's side, kneeling close enough to be able to look her in the face and be seen in return comfortably. As if on cue, Hayley proceeded to spit out a mouthful of blood, landing a few inches from Ema's knees; typical Murphy's Law, the one time she doesn't get blood splattered on her is the time it's already there anyway. It probably would've landed right on her leg if she were wearing cleaner cloFOCUS. Ema extracted herself from daydreamy waiting around mode, and tried to pay attention to the now.

"Hey...hey, beautiful."

Oh yeah, being talked to, probably freaking her out by not answering, ought to do something about that. Wait... did she say 'beautiful'? Ema couldn't hold back the satisfied chuckle or grin, it felt nice. It'd been months since anyone had called her that. Cute, adorable, sweet, all the rest of them, they were standard fare, but even her parents had rarely thought to call her beautiful. That said, she didn't have anything much to say in response. Generic mirror response it was, then. "Hey."

"So...tell me, how awful do I look?"

"On a scale of one to Davros? Could be a lot worse. I mean, you can't even try to compare to how bloody I am right now."

And with that, she reached out and wiped away the renewed trail of blood streaming from Hayley's nose with the cuff of her coat, careful not to touch her actual nose too much. The was ruined any way, couldn't hurt to get a bit more blood on it, right? Besides, the thing was black, it wouldn't even notice once it dried, and she could wash the worst of it out next time they came across a river. More importantly, though, the question of the hour;

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


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

The Past
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Chib
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
The odd choice of context, in spite of its being completely abandoned straight after establishing it as a 'scale' seemed to help. It elicited a grin, at least, and whilst it did look forced, Ema put that down to large amounts of face-based pain. Yeah, note to self, don't make her laugh, that can't be healthy with all this blood and bruising and whatnot. Second note to self, be more careful around the nose, looks like it's broken and certainly felt like it. Oh and third note to self on the subject of the second, obtain more dexterity.

For a moment, Ema wondered where exactly she was meant to gain additional dexterity from, but that was a stupid train of thought and ended only in tired RPG analogies, so she ended it and paid attention to what Hayley was saying.

"I found myself tied up on the tracks right before the Bitchmobile came rolling through. Hit me hard. But I...uh...shot it?"

That... didn't really make any sense. Bitch version of the Batmobile on train tracks? Bullets worked on it? What?

"...I don't know who she was. The girl. Seemed like she had some vendetta against me or whatever. But I doubt she made it far with a couple of bullets in her. ...There was some other girl, I didn't see what happened to her before I blacked out. Ran out of bullets. Just a bad break, I guess. Now..."

Yeah that made a hell of a lot more sense. A girl come along and beat the snot out of her, then she shot her and wait who do these pronouns belong to again?. Anyway Hayley shot the other unidentified girl who proceeded to run off and probably died a few meters away. That'd explain the trail of blood Ema had followed to get here, then. And then there was another girl who Hayley tried to shoot but didn't have any bullets left, and evidently she absconded as well. Probably went after the gunshot victim. Yeah, that sounded pretty reasonable.

There were a few holes, of course, like why Hayley hadn't shot mystery girl #1 straight off the bat, rather than waiting around to become Mr. Sandbag first, or why mystery girl #2 hadn't taken the time to finish the evidently unconscious Hayley off... but those could wait, the actual present was happening. Fact was, Hayley was alive, Ema was there, moving on needed to be happening. And the former was reaching out to be lifted.

"First, I need you to help me up. Then we're gonna get our stuff, and you're going to tell me what happened to you."

Ema obliged, surprised to find that either Hayley was a lot lighter than she thought, or she was a lot stronger. Or both. But there'd be time to figure out which later on, it was more important to offer a shoulder for balance, try to figure out which way was "back", and then maybe explain how she'd come to be so red. So, establishing a slow, steady pace back towards the west, Ema recounted the events of an hour or two ago as best as she could remember them.

"I guess it was more that I happened to someone else. No wait, that sounds dumb. Anyway. I was like, pacing around, keeping an eye on our stuff, waiting for you to get back, and, uh, I kind of lost track of where I was, and ran into this guy while I was looking at the map. And he was like, all creepily silent and stuff, even after I literally walked straight into him, and then he starts getting up like a fucking zombie or a Necron or something, so..."

That sentence went on for longer than intended, Ema paused for breath.

"Yeah, I shot him. And I guess I wasn't sure he was dead and I thought I saw his hand move, so I went for his arm with the sword and... oh, bollocks."

Ema looked back, she'd left it on the ground where she'd dropped it a few minutes ago. Leaving Hayley to rest against a tree, she went back to retrieve it, disregarded the blood still matting it, and shoved it in her daypack. Back to the journey.

"Yeah, after that I think I must've blacked out or something. Next thing I knew he was just lying there and, and... it wasn't pretty, you know?. Still kind of creeps me out, but it's just another thing not to think about, right? Plenty of time for, like, therapy and stuff when I get back home, right?"

That last "Right?" sounded more than a little bit desperate, even to Ema herself. She'd managed to maintain a largely disaffected tone with the majority of her story, trying not to let slip just how much her own butchering actions had scared her, trying not to let herself feel guilty about shooting the boy in the first place when she had absolutely no cause to think he was going to attack her, short of being bigger and tougher than her. Just pretend the panic was justified and that he wasn't as badly cut up as he looked and go on with a fake normal existence. Totally.

"So, uh... maybe it was one of those people from the cliffs? There were others with the girl you killed there, right?"

Yup, change the subject, like a fucking pro. Thinking about how screwed up I obviously am? No sir. Talking about it? No sir. Things are A-OK and absolutely normal over here.
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


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

The Past
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Chib
Member Avatar
Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
Hayley agreed with the educated guess as to the "Bitchmobile"'s identity, with a pained laugh that made her physical condition all too clear. When even giving a small chuckle hurts your face, you know you're in trouble. But at least she was able to laugh, that was something. Ema wouldn't have blamed her if she came out of such a beatdown in a decidedly surly mood. Maybe she actually was, and was just trying to make the long trip ahead more tolerable for Ema herself. It did seem like the kind of thing Hayley would do, after all.

Either way, whether she was in a legitimate bad mood or an optimistic good mood, Hayley wasn't in much shape to hurry back to the makeshift campsite. And so Ema settled in for yet another long haul, this time due to a sluggish speed rather than a huge distance to travel. At least at the slow pace it wouldn't be nearly as demanding as her two-day hike from corner to corner of the island. If anything, maybe the walk would be nice. An opportunity to think without having to focus so heavily on watching where she was going. Silver linings and all that.

Ema refrained from trying to start up any further conversation as the pair staggered on, fearing that making Hayley talk or laugh any more might just worsen the terrible state her face was already in. So the walk was quiet, save for the snap of twigs and rustle of leaves underfoot. Occasionally she made out the sounds of wildlife in the distance, too, by now quite easily able to tell them apart from the noises of human movement. Nothing to fear for now, except for Hayley's condition worsening.

Would that be such a bad thing?

That thought, or the echo - for want of a better term - of it, hung in Ema's mind for quite some time. She couldn't say how long, but it seemed as though an infinite number of footsteps punctuated the gap between it and any sort of mental response. As it happened, it was a reinforcement, not a rebuke.

She has to die if I'm going to get home.

At that point, Ema had been looking at Hayley, checking up on her. As the thought crossed her mind, she suddenly found herself unable to look the other girl in the eye. She turned away, hoping to look as though she was just turning her gaze to the sky, bored with the long journey.

In this state, she's just going to be a burden.

It's thanks to her that I'm still alive.

But she'll end up getting me killed like this.

I love her.

She'd do the same.


Even though it was her own mind saying so, that last one hit Ema hard. Would she? Would Hayley leave Ema behind, or worse, were their roles reversed, and Ema was the one barely fit to stand unaided? She'd killed at before, must have been seven times by now, what was to say she wouldn't put Ema down if she ceased to be a useful ally, especially with the excuse of "putting her out of her misery"?

She protected me before now, back when I didn't even have the sword.

That was then. This is now. She'd only killed once, back then.

She can't have changed that dramatically in just seven days.

...she says after carving up a boy's corpse like a fucking turkey.


Ema shook her head, seemingly at nothing at all, trying to make sense of the morbid thoughts she found herself entertaining. Why wasn't she dismissing them, why was she actually giving credence to such nonsense? Hayley was her ally, her best friend, her lover. She wasn't about to kill her just because she was slowing her down. So Hayley had killed some people. Arguably they'd all been in aid of Ema, Kyle too, before he'd died. She'd even given Ema a gun, she could've easily kept it for herself if she was as callous as Ema had just seconds ago implied.

At the end of the day, at least one of us is going to have to die, though. Maybe she'd appreciate me making it quick.

She'll recover, she just needs rest. Rizzolo was in a worse state than she is, and he was alone, he still went on to win, didn't he?"


And with that, the debate was over. The guilt lingered on, what with "I love her" not having been enough to silence her own doubts, with cold, logical precedent having to suffice, but she tried to tell herself it was a fair argument, that sentimentality wasn't a sufficient answer to a logical problem. The precedent of V3's winner wasn't the end of the argument, it was the means to absolutely shut out the niggling doubts. It had been over when she pointed out how much Hayley meant to her, she'd decided that she wasn't going to kill her, as easy as it would have been, would still be shut up, at that point. The rest was just little doubts. Right?

That "right?" is only gonna get more and more desperate, Ema.

Guilt, and the inability to assuage it, aside, it was all immaterial. At some point in the internal dialogue, she had indeed decided she had no intention of killing her girlfriend in cold blood. That would have to be enough for now. Yet another weight on her heavy conscience that she'd have to ignore, and hope against hope that nothing would be strong enough to bring it all down on her head later on. Yup, just carry on pretending everything's fine and ignore all the times people have said that bottling things up is a terrible idea.

By the time Ema's thoughts had made it that far, she realised that, entirely without meaning to, she'd been staring at Hayley for... she didn't even know how long. Several seconds, at least. Long enough for it to be weird. Thinking fast, she found something to play it off on; she's a mess, but I've already seen that, err... nose? Yeah, nose, bleeding, wonky, claim it was that. Bueno.

"Um... so should I try to, you know, put your nose back in place? It's only going to get worse if we let it heal like it is now."

[Ema Ryan --> Elsewhere]
Edited by Chib, Jul 19 2011, 04:10 PM.
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.


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

The Past
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