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Et dans ces instants, j’aimerais être comme toi par moment; Yup, it's me again. Ema / Meredith private murderin'.
Topic Started: Aug 31 2011, 12:39 PM (1,723 Views)
Chib
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
[The Girl With the Thorn in Her Side --> Ema Ryan]

Yet again, Ema Ryan found herself on that same bridge, staring into that same river. Not the same water, though, she caught herself thinking, maybe aloud, maybe not. The border between thoughts and words was becoming blurred for her, she could rarely tell which parts of her internal monologue she was speaking under her breath any more. But that wasn't the point, the point was the river and its water, inadvertently reminding Ema that, no matter what else happened, the world could quite easily carry on. Hayley could die, all of her friends could die, but the river would keep flowing, time would carry on with or without her.

Those vaguely philosophical were interrupted by a change in the cover of clouds. As the sky grew a little clearer, sunlight shone down onto the surface of the stream, reflecting back just enough to colour the water in pale yellow. Yellow, or perhaps closer to gold. It didn't take long to associate that hue with something - rather, someone - else. Someone else who most likely still lay a few metres below Ema's feet, too heavy to be carried far off by the water. Someone whose eyes looked gold when the sunlight hit them, too.

Ema sighed, trying to find the words to express what was on her mind. "Yeah, me again. I wish I could say I came back to see you, maybe I would've chosen to anyway, but I didn't really get a choice."

She twisted her right hand around a few times, wincing. Since waking up, her wrist had been incredibly sore, the legacy of firing a high calibre revolver without accounting for the recoil. The memory of when she'd taken that shot certainly wasn't helping things.

"And what am I doing? Talking to a dead person again, like a pro. Not that it's hard to see dead people around here, is it?" she glanced across to the eastern side of the bridge, to the corpses of Janet Binachi, Gloria Benson, and the others she didn't know by name. She looked back down, staring at her hands for a few seconds, before lowering them and focusing on the water again. She was one of, what, twenty, thirty people still alive? That made approximately two hundred and fifty corpses to run into. And she was making jokes at how easy it was to come across them. "We sure turned out to be monsters, huh?"

There was no reply. Obviously there wasn't a reply, just the gentle sound of water washing against the banks of the river, the distant sounds of wind in the trees, the gradually quietening noise of Ema's own breathing, still heavy from the mad dash down from the Ranger Station. She leaned back, gingerly resting the weight of her body on her left hand first, then lowering the aching right after it. It hurt regardless, but less than it might have. Like this, Ema could look up at the sky instead, take her mind off of the island and its occupants, dead or alive. She could not think about the monster she'd become in such a short space of time, and what further evil she had to look forward to. She could just stare at the clouds and the blue sky, and actually enjoy being outdoors for perhaps the first time in years.

She could... if nature hadn't decided to throw her a reminder of why she'd always hated going outside, in the shape of a solitary honey-bee. Staring down as she had been before, Ema hadn't even noticed it hovering lazily above her head, and her own speech had drowned out the low hum of its flight. With reckless haste, the girl rolled aside, grabbing frantically at the stonework for a handhold, a way to pull herself to her feet and flee the irrationally menacing creature. And after narrowly avoiding dropping down into the water more times than she cared to count, Ema managed to crawl onto the centre of the bridge, and back away accordingly.

And just like that, the bee casually floated away, rising and falling in the air with a carefree abandon that Ema couldn't help but find insulting, a taunt. "Ha ha, I just scared the shit out of you, and now I'm gonna fly up away to the sun. No no, you stay here with your exploding collar and your three killstreak, I can manage on my own. Sucker." In spite of herself, the redhead reached for a gun, knowing full well she wouldn't be able to hit the accursed thing, but very much wanting to try. Her hand landed on the grip of the revolver first, and that murderous anger abated a little, drowned out by the renewed aching of her wrist. She transferred the weapon to her daypack, switching it for the Nambu; it looked small enough, maybe its recoil would be less punishing.

Once the insidious insect had finally disappeared from view, Ema found herself unwilling to sit down again, not when she'd almost drowned herself trying to stand up quickly last time. If a more legitimate threat showed itself, she didn't like the thought of spending half a minute trying to get on her feet. So instead she just stood there, looking down into the water again, no more words to say.

Maybe she'd move on in a few minutes, once she decided where to go from 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
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ZombiexCreame
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it was a graveyard smash
[ *  *  *  * ]
((Meredith Hemmings continued from The Golden Treehouse))

Meredith Hemmings was directionless. She had no idea where to go or what to do. She still hadn't come upon her Book of Life, and part of her was wondering if she should just simply abandon that mission. Was it stupid of her to assume that her fellow classmates would willingly offer their hopes and dreams and thoughts to her under these entirely dire circumstances? They had to fight for their lives, not gush their inner-thoughts to some gothic freak that they hardly knew.

All she'd wanted to do was rest. That building she'd found in front of the mine seemed like a great place to lower her weary head, perhaps catch up on a few winks of sleep. Why did that girl have to wander in and ruin everything? Sheesh, aiming a gun right at her like she was some sort of danger. These people were stupid as all hell if they thought Meredith Hemmings was a threat. She was a savior for Pete's sake! Basically.

Well, thank the spirits for Meredith's quick and hasty evacuation, as the next announcement revealed that the mine area had become a danger zone, along with a bunch of other places on the island. She didn't have a single clue if that girl had made it out in time, nor did she care, but one thing was for sure. There weren't many places left to go. With the dwindling amount of students, she realized that it was getting down to the wire. There wouldn't be many locations left, and the ones remaining would be squished together under one locale, probably... She'd seen it before.

Meredith decided she'd find a new place. She'd given up her dream of finding the Book of Life (assuming it was left in some danger zone, someplace), and so she would float until the Beast came to collect her soul. That was just how it worked. She had an uncanny feeling that her time would be up soon, in fact, she was sure that her time had run out days ago. She was just running on luck right now.

She navigated herself to an area that wasn't a danger zone and found herself wandering along the logging road. It was quiet, yet corpse-ridden like mostly everywhere else, but it was somewhat pleasant. Nobody around, no signs of struggle or fighting. Meredith could hear the faint trickle of water somewhere nearby, and so she followed the sound. She wanted to wash her face a bit, maybe drench her nasty locks of unwashed hair. She so desperately needed a shower.

The sound grew more and more vivid and rounding a corner, she realized that she had come upon a bridge. The child inside Meredith wanted to run to the edge and peer down into the flowing water, and she almost did, but she realized something... There was someone standing there. It was a female, and it looked almost like she was holding something. Maybe, it was too far to tell. She hadn't seen Meredith, mostly keeping her eyes cast downward at the water. The goth debated whether she should approach the girl or not and decided in the end that she should at least say hello. This may be her last chance to ally with someone who understood her.

And if she was dangerous? Meredith wasn't sure if she cared. The Beast manifested itself in many people in many different ways. It was inevitable.

She stepped onto the bridge, hands wrapped around her strange staff-like weapon. "Greetings," she said, trying to make her voice sound as dark and macabre as possible. "Peering into the water to find yourself? I've done it once or twice. Reflection is never a negative thing."
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Dawson Demarke: School Cafeteria♥
♥Soon to come: Francis Scodelaris♥
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Chib
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
Just because Ema had no words to say, that was no guarantee there wouldn't be a reply. The fact that Hayley was dead should've guaranteed it, of course, but apparently not so. No, from the direction Ema misperceived as being below her, came an unfamiliar voice, which she duly misinterpreted as being muffled and otherwise altered by the several feet of water between them.

The voice said "Greetings".
Hold the phone. Hayley didn't talk like that. She never talked like that, except when she was in a theatrical kind of mood from time to time. Not a kind of mood that fitted the island even slightly. Besides, that voice hadn't come form underwater, what on Earth was Ema thinking? It was from her right, over on the west bank of the river. It was another living person talking to her.

"Peering into the water to find yourself? I've done it once or twice. Reflection is never a negative thing."

Ema's neck turned to face the speaker so fast it almost hurt. Another girl, taller than herself, and somehow paler, too. In spite of herself, Ema couldn't help but notice she'd probably been rather attractive, before the whole Survival of the Fittest ordeal. Not that that was important now. More important was leaping into action; she already had that Japanese pistol in her hand, and the pretty girl with the creepy voice appeared to be unarmed. Didn't mean she was, but having nothing out and ready gave Ema the advantage, which she took right away.

Level gun at centre of mass, steady right arm with the left, focus. It was almost second nature by now. She'd shot three people already, what difference was a fourth? A fourth who was being needlessly unnerving, and who was probably planning some clever kind of way of disarming or distracting Ema to kill her with her guard down. Self defence, this was. Entirely warranted. Just point the gun at her and maybe she'll go away. If not then, oh man what a shame, just going to have to kill her and vacate the area before anyone else arrives.

Almost second nature by now, getting away with murder.
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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ZombiexCreame
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it was a graveyard smash
[ *  *  *  * ]
A neck snapped in the direction of Meredith, a neck that belonged to the girl standing on the bridge. It seemed needlessly dramatic to the girl, and she smiled to herself at the look of shock on the other female's face. Was Meredith intimidating or freaky? Probably. She hadn't looked in the mirror in quite awhile, but she was sure that her physical appearance was nothing lacking in the scary department. Or maybe... it was the opposite. Meredith was used to wearing pounds of caked on eyeliner and mascara, but she did take that dip in the river a few days ago... Perhaps it was all gone and instead of this scary looking creature that she painted herself to be, perhaps she was just... normal.

Meredith never much liked being considered normal. It really wasn't her style.

She expected the girl to ask her some questions, maybe even her name like a normal person, and Meredith was fully expected to belt out her usual line, "Pandora Black. Would you like to sign my book?" Except there was no book, so she kept her thin lips zipped tight. There were no words, just a resolute look in Ema's eyes and a gun aimed right at Meredith. It sort of hit her just there that maybe she hadn't stumbled upon just a normal classmate fighting for survival. Perhaps she'd stumbled upon a killer.

If so, what should she do? In this situation, a normal person would bargain for their life. Maybe even run for cover or cry or something. She'd had guns pointed at her before, yeah, but what if this was the last gun that would ever be pointed in her direction? It wasn't like she had any sensible form of self-defense.

Meredith Hemmings placed her hands up and stared at Ema through cold eyes, a very calm look on her face. "Before you try to shoot me, let us have a little chat. Maybe you could answer a few questions? I'm curious... Did you enjoy your life before the Beast's Game? Hopefully so because this is all you have left. Aiming your gun at strangers, tsk tsk. The Beast is manipulating you; it's so obvious. The Beast has his pawns and then he has fodder. I guess everyone just sorta knows what category their in. I've known since day one. I wanted to be a pawn too, but alas. I'm just another lamb to the slaughter."

Meredith took a step forward, to show that she wasn't afraid, but inside, she was kind of terrified. Who wouldn't be in this situation? Her life was essentially in Ema's hands, and little Pandora Black didn't actually like blood and death as much as she liked to claim. "I step forward as a sacrifice. Take me into the loving arms of the afterlife and dispose of my body to the Beast's realm! No longer will I participate in this cruel, cruel trial." Her words were becoming more cryptic, less irrelevant, perhaps in an attempt to confuse Ema. Make her wonder what they hell Meredith was going on about.

"I am Pandora Black, and I will gladly go into the Valley of Death. Would you care to join me?"

She said the last sentence quite quickly and immediately sprung forward. It was actually a very impromptu thought, as Meredith had originally planned to just talk some crap and maybe ease her way out of having a gun aimed at her. She could have also ran like hell (she wasn't too bad a runner), but that seemed so cowardly. Now, perhaps she could use her acrobatic skills for once.

She preformed a graceful little flip that seemed so out of place on this tiny little bridge. A back handspring landed her somewhere on the side of Ema, and she straightened up, her own hands wrapping around Ema's in a wild attempt to get the gun away from her. "Fuck the Beast!" she shouted in a voice that was maniac and hysteric. "Fuck the Book of Life! I'm not a sacrifice!"
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♥Soon to come: Francis Scodelaris♥
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Chib
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
An uneasy silence descended. Neither of the students seemed to know what to do, standing in place, one aiming a gun, the other being aimed at. To many still alive, the way to proceed should be obvious, Ema should open fire, aim for the chest to compensate for a lack of accuracy, hope one of the bullets hits and takes Meredith down, then finish her off at close range. In fact, that was obvious to Ema as well, she just wasn't quite able to do it. Freaky, yes, unnerving, maybe, but threatening? The girl standing before Ema wasn't threatening. Poor thing looked like she'd been dragged across a river backwards, to say nothing of her lack of a visible weapon and how she hadn't made any remotely hostile action so far. Her previous kills had been the result of panic, that was an excuse she could still hang onto and call herself human. Meredith wasn't dangerous just yet.

"Before you try to shoot me, let us have a little chat..."

Just like that, the silence was broken. Ema was taken aback. The girl expected to be shot? She was okay with it, and just wanted a word first? Already, her face was starting to reflect the confusion in her mind. None of this made much sense to her. People were supposed to be afraid to die.

"I'm curious... Did you enjoy your life before the Beast's Game? Hopefully so because this is all you have left."

The 'Beast's Game'? Interesting euphemism for the situation, but it was clear enough. More importantly though, the question. It was an unexpected one, and it pierced the fugue of strategy and fear for her life that surrounded Ema's mind. Her life before the island, it seemed so far off, so long ago, as though she'd only ever existed here and now. She had enjoyed it though, hadn't she? Her relationship with her parents hadn't been that bad, right? And she'd had friends, only a few but enough to be happy. She'd had...

"...I've known since day one. I wanted to be a pawn too, but alas. I'm just another lamb to the slaughter."

...an inability to pay attention when something made her retreat into contemplation. It was lessened now, had Ema still been in her Day 1 state of mind, she probably wouldn't even have noticed Meredith stepping forwards, finishing her impromptu monologue. Moving forwards was hostile, though. Moving forwards was closing the distance, gradually making fighting against someone with a gun more likely to succeed. Getting into melee range, and Ema didn't have a Gnasher on hand.

"I step forward as a sacrifice. Take me into the loving arms of the afterlife and dispose of my body to the Beast's realm! No longer will I participate in this cruel, cruel trial."

Thoughts of shotguns were soon dispelled as, again, Meredith's words served only to confuse. She... she wanted to die? No, not possible. She'd have just killed herself by now if that was so, plenty already had. Unless, maybe she believed something that prohibited suicide? Or...

It struck Ema like a physical blow. She wanted to take a killer down with her.

"I am Pandora Black, and I will gladly go into the Valley of Death. Would you care to join me?"

Too late. Ema jerked her arms in the strange girl's direction in time for her to not be there at all, and a bullet fired met with thin air, carried on towards the forests in the south, wasted. Of more immediate importance were Meredith's hands, grasping Ema's in a vice-like grip, trying to forcibly disarm her, whether that be by taking the gun for herself or just making Ema drop it. In spite of herself, Ema caught herself yelling "Oh you cheating bitch!" as she drove an elbow into the other girl's abdomen in a manic attempt to throw her off. With both hands occupied resisting Meredith's grip, it was the best she could do.
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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ZombiexCreame
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it was a graveyard smash
[ *  *  *  * ]
It all happened quickly, and Meredith knew that she couldn't keep up this fighting thing. She was alright at acrobatics, yeah, but fighting? She didn't know a thing about it. She didn't know the right moves to disarm someone or knock someone out cold. And even if she did... What would she do? What was her plan of action? It was probably accurate to say that she didn't have much of a plan of action...

She could kill this girl. Thoughts of murder had sprung up within her mind a few times throughout the Beast's Game, but she could really do it now. Maybe. Maybe when she wasn't in so much danger. This was still a very tricky situation, and she'd need a lot of luck to get out of this safely. It wasn't like she could talk her way out of this and apologize. Someone was going to have to go down. If it was Meredith, she could sort of accept it, but honestly she didn't want to die just yet. Not now. Not like this.

Ema yelled that she was a cheating bitch, and Meredith felt half-inclined to shout back that she was no such thing. How in the world was she a cheating bitch? Ema was the one pointing a gun at her. Wasn't it normal to resort to fight or flight? She thought so. Ignore Ema's irrelevant words, she had more things to focus on.

A strike of pain electrocuted her insides, and she yelped, the air quickly vacating her lungs. Coughing violently, she staggered back, hitting the other side of the bridge. There was no way she could recover in time to counter Ema's attack. Fuck.

Meredith spread out her arms out to her sides and said, in a slightly pained and out-of-breath voice, "Go ahead! Take.. my life! See how far it gets you.. The Beast will get you too.. He'll get all of us. I'll gladly go. DO IT! Just shoot me. I know the Beast is egging you on, and the temptation is far too great to ignore. Go ahead..."

She turned around and kept her back to Ema, staring down into the water below the bridge. She tried to fill herself with peace, but she was mostly scared. This was the moment of truth. Perhaps Ema would fear her words and run away? Maybe Meredith would live to see another day. Maybe. Hopefully... Or she could just try to push Ema off the bridge, but that would be another hostile act, and she would surely shoot her if she failed.
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Chib
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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
It worked. Against all odds, in spite of everything, it worked. Anger, adrenaline, carrying a really heavy bag around for a few years, Ema Ryan didn't know what to pin it on, but her upper body strength had been enough to not just wind her attacker, but push her away entirely. Meredith backed up, in what seemed like a combination of legitimate force and just generally being afraid of a second blow.

Being afraid. Of Ema Ryan. The little dorky girl that wouldn't have hurt a fly. Huh. That was an odd thought to comprehend. Ema had killed three people, she had four guns and a sword, and people were afraid of her.

It felt nice.

It felt better than being ignored, shunned, picked on or anything else she'd been in the past. It was the feeling of having a gun in her hand, but oh so much sweeter. Ema brought her hands back up, free of Meredith's grasping grip, free to take aim at her head. Point blank, more or less, no need to worry about missing. This was it, her fourth kill, third true murder, and she was going to savour it. Because it wasn't a panicked reaction, it wasn't mercy, it was callous. It was getting an innocent person out of her way in the most vicious way. And it felt so very good to have the power to make that choice.

"Go ahead! Take.. my life! See how far it gets you.. The Beast will get you too.. He'll get all of us. I'll gladly go. DO IT! Just shoot me. I know the Beast is egging you on, and the temptation is far too great to ignore. Go ahead..."

Meredith had regained her breath, evidently. But she wasn't using it to retaliate, even with Ema partially occupied by delusions of grandeur. No, this was something else entirely, telling her to go through with it? It couldn't be right. Must be reverse psychology, a strawman argument, designed to make Ema see her own thinking and be appalled by it. It would've worked a few days ago, perhaps, but not now. It served only to make the emerging killer a bit more cautious.

Meredith turned around. Just another ploy, then, make it look like execution, make it harder to stomach. Ema simply backed up, never breaking off her gaze, fixated as it was on the back of her target's head, never lowering her aim, scarcely even allowing her hands to shake. This was it. Not a split second decision to lash out at a threat in the strongest way she could, not an agonising choice to end a lover's suffering, just a choice between shooting a person in cold blood and letting them live. This was it. Become the killer she needed to be to win, or stay on the cusp, still able to convince herself she was a victim of circumstance, an innocent in all this.

Fat chance. If I'm innocent, the Pope's a Muslim. Come on, I've killed plenty of downed people before, what's the difference here? She's real? She's also really in the way of the road home, so fuck her, what right does she have to survive instead of me?

I'm already a killer. Just seal the deal. Be proud of it. And go back home as a winner, with my head held damn bloody high.


Just enough time for a casual one-liner first, then. "Didn't anyone ever tell you to be careful what you wish for?"

Now take the shot. Take the fucking shot Ema.

Gun in hands. Finger on trigger. Sights on the base of the skull.

Hesitation.

Emily Ryan you take that bloody shot this instant. Emily's never been your name but I don't care shoot that girl now.

Breath in lungs. Determination in heart.

Realisation.

She attacked me. She's no innocent either. She was going to kill me.

She was going to kill me with my own gun.

Fuck her. Sapphire and Ma'afu didn't deserve to die, I made it quick.

Fuck her, she doesn't get that luxury.


Ema lowered the gun slightly. Meredith had tried to kill her, she deserved to suffer for that. That was only fair, right? Ema was the winner of this game, after all, getting in her way was the cardinal sin. Make her suffer, then, suffer like Hayley hadn't deserved to.

The hesitation was gone, Ema pulled the trigger, and watched the Nambu's bullet bury itself in Meredith's torso with something between smug satisfaction and a last remaining vestige of squeamish disgust. She was no physician, but that looked like roughly where a person's lung should be. Whether it was or not, it was evidently excruciating either way. The pale girl clutched at the exit wound briefly, clearly sharing Ema's surprise at just how easily it had been inflicted, and how quickly the blood had begin to stain the clothing around both wounds.

It was only briefly, though. It only took a few seconds for Meredith to drop to her knees, gasping for breath. Ema could empathise, she knew quite intimately what a damaged lung could do to a person. Only fair punishment for trying to cut her off at the final stretch, of course. Twenty people left, give or take, shouldn't be many left in any physical state to challenge her now. Guns were a different story, but a lack of injuries was always an advantage. Nobody went into the final four heavily injured and came out victorious. At least not as far as Ema could remember.

Oh yeah, dying girl on the floor over there, probably important. Ema wasn't sure how long she'd been contemplating the immediate future, probably only a few seconds, but the white of Meredith's face had quite quickly turned to a more deathly pallor. Amateur diagnosis? She wouldn't last long. Certainly wouldn't survive, without the kind of medical attention that just didn't exist on-island. In spite of her callous mood before, the newly-confirmed killer couldn't help taking pity on the downed figure. That was the pain Hayley had been in. Karmic or not, Ema knew that was no small thing to inflict. Maybe she hadn't deserved it.

No she deserved it for crossing Ema bloody Ryan. Now just put her out of her misery before she pulls some cornered wolf bullshit. You don't pity her. Don't you dare pity her, not now.

With that in mind, Ema stepped over to Meredith's retching body. With an almost casual kick, she rolled the other girl over onto her front. She hadn't had a Gnasher earlier, that was true enough, but she could still finish this self-imposed execution properly. Deep breath. Aim for the top of the neck.

Leg up.
Foot down.

Crunch.
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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ZombiexCreame
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it was a graveyard smash
[ *  *  *  * ]
She shut her eyes and listened to the sound of the water trickle beneath her, the sound of the air moving past her ear, causing her dirty locks of hair to billow behind her. She imagined that if she was some bird in a tree, watching her, this would look much like an artistic scene in a movie. This would be a good shot, she thought. Pandora Black standing on a bridge, eyes shut, face peaceful, and a threatening girl with a gun behind her. And she didn't care. Look at how many fucks Pandora Black gave: none. That was her stance on this.

She could almost lose herself, pretend that Ema didn't exist. She didn't exist, she wasn't going to hurt Meredith, and Meredith could eventually go along her merry way. Get it? Meredith going along her merry way? She couldn't help but be reminded of her old pal, Jessica. She always called her Merry, much to her own personal chagrin. Even now, she'd probably hate to be called such a thing, but deep inside, she'd probably like it. Any little piece of personal comfort would be accepted with open arms.

But here she was, and no one cared if she would rather be called Pandora as opposed to Meredith. The girl behind her frankly didn't care, and the two had never exchanged names. Sure, she was curious to this girl's name, but it hardly seemed the time to exchange pleasantries. Geez, how macabre would that be? In a scene like this, to simply turn around and ask for the girl's name. She'd probably be met with a mere bullet to the jaw, so Meredith didn't dare turn around. Not yet.

The girl behind her spoke, rattling off some overused line about being careful for what you wished for. It was just some self-imposed quote that would help Ema feel better about herself. Something to take the blame away from herself. "It was her fault. She's the one that made me kill her. It wasn't MY fault! She wanted me to kill her!" And maybe she did. Maybe Meredith did want to die. Maybe she didn't want to see these fucking green trees or this beautiful damn water or that lovely blue sky anymore. Because, after seeing all the beauty, then you had to look at all the damn gory corpses and the blood and the rotting flesh and the thousands of other negative aspects of this. Maybe she just couldn't take it anymore, and maybe she didn't feel like deluding herself into some supernatural make believe tale.

She wasn't Pandora. This wasn't some game devised by a Beast. The Book of Life was never anything more than a fucking notebook from Hot Topic. Nothing seemed to matter now that she was in the face of imminent death. And yet, she continued to accept it.

Without turning around, Meredith opened her eyes and spoke. "I've heard the phrase, but I really don't care. You think I want to keep going? You think if you don't kill me now, someone else might not do the same exact thing in five minutes? I haven't made a single ally or collected a single weapon that would help me even if I did make it down to the end. And home? Even if you do make it home, and congratulations if you do, by the way, it's not going to be the same. Live your normal life behind cubicle walls, go on boring dates to the movie theater, pretend to be someone totally normal, but every waking moment, your mind is here. You can't stop thinking about that one time when you were kidnapped and forced onto some damn island to kill your classmates. Was it worth it? At night when you're trying to sleep and all you can think about is this. Worth it yet? There won't be a single waking moment when you're not here for the rest... of your pathetic life."

She was about to continue on, tell Ema that she could write a book about it and make a few quick bucks or illustrate a fantastic tale about her life ending in the loving embrace of a noose, but it was all cut short by a horrifically loud bang and a slice of pain somewhere below her chest. She let out a gasp of breath and wrapped her hands around the wound, surmising that she'd just been shot. Yeah, she'd been expecting that, right? It was like those scary movies. You know the ghost will pop out and scare the pants off you, and you're all prepared and stuff, and then it happens and you still scream anyway. This was similar.

Meredith fell to her knees and removed her hands from the wound, staring down at pale fingers covered with something dark and crimson. She was aware that even breathing would cause a spike of pain to shoot through her body, and thus she took smaller and shallower breaths. It didn't sound right. Ragged and pained. It didn't belong to her, it all felt so strange. She coughed and found blood, fell to the bridge and kept her face planted firmly on the wood. She knew she wasn't going to live through this, and she was okay with that. It was cool. She sort of deserved it. Probably shouldn't have provoked crazy girl with the gun.

She looked down as much as she could and examined the blood pooling underneath her. It was seeping through the wood and over the side of the bridge. She imagined the blood dripping down into the stream below and once again figured that this would be a pretty awesome scene, maybe in a screamo metalcore music video. Meredith would be the tragic heroine.

In her last moments, Meredith tried to think about all the things that she didn't get to do in life, all the places that she didn't get to see or experience, but those thoughts were quickly replaced by less urgent thoughts. Would she die alone? Would Ema leave her alone here? Would someone find her and stay by her side? Probably not. What was on the other side of so-called life? Would anyone find her book?

"You've done well." Meredith knew the words were coming from inside of her head, somewhere in the dark realms of her thoughts, but she didn't want to believe it. She was done with her otherwordly nonsense. The Beast and Hades and all that. How far had that gotten her? Nowhere, by the looks of it. She'd only succeeded in scaring half the student body off. She was a weirdo, a freak, and that much hadn't changed even now. But alas, her thoughts were clouding her mind.

She felt a kick in her side, and she cried out as she was rolled to her front. The pain was even worse now, electrifying her insides and causing her to involuntarily shake from the friggin hole in possibly her lung. She wasn't sure. Didn't care to take off her clothes and have a good gander at the thing. She wearily looked up to see something dark hovering above her, and Meredith smiled through bloody teeth. The Beast was there, standing above her. And right above the Beast was something of a door.. right there smashed into the sky. It was the exit. It was her time to go. She'd made it far, and now it was time to rest. That was probably what the Beast was saying. She reached her arms out for the Beast to take, prepared for the loving embrace of death, but she was only met with a single

Crunch.

to the neck, and it was over for Pandora Meredith Hemmings Black. And she was glad.

FEMALE STUDENT NO. 107 - DECEASED
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[ *  *  * ]
Seconds passed slowly. Ema couldn't bring herself to look down just yet. She'd baulked at the sight of a bullet wound covered by clothes, and previously spent days unable to shake the image of Sapphire's newly aerated skull from her mind. So, after what she was quite she she'd just done to Meredith, actually seeing the results seemed like a bad idea. But when the still-warm blood started to soak into the sides of her shoe, she couldn't look away any more - trying to extricate herself from the body without looking, only to fall over and hurt herself in a really stupid way, was a far, far worse idea in Ema's mind.

"...oh Christ."

Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad after all. Ema looked down, and as her foot moved out of the way, she could see quite well the damage she'd inflicted. Inexplicably, her left hand joined in the lifting motion, brushing hair away from her field of vision. It wasn't, however, as bad as she'd imagined it could be; Meredith's head was still intact, mostly, it was just half-crushed and swimming in blood, bone and other things Ema just didn't want to guess at. Not as bad as she'd imagined, maybe, but the ruin before her eyes was still nauseating to look at. Worse than seeing James Mulzet's head shorn clean off, worse than seeing what she'd done to Ma'afu Tuigamala with that same sword.

But on some level, it was almost better. She hadn't killed Mulzet herself, it had just been an overly gruesome death she'd had to witness. She didn't actually remember mutilating Maf, she'd blacked out, and regained consciousness to find him that way. They were terrible enough, but she didn't have a great deal of control over them. But this, this corpse at her feet, this was all her own work. She'd decided to make Meredith suffer, she'd chosen to finish her off in the most brutal way she knew how. She was wholly responsible for what she now saw, and it made it easier to stomach.

Besides, think about it Ema, this is awesome. You actually did this to a person. Who'd have thought that was possible? All meek and defenceless and then suddenly OH SHIT CURB STOMP.

That took a moment to sink in. In part because it was true, in part because there still remained a small section of Ema's consciousness that was utterly disgusted and horrified by all of this. The bit of her that still hated her for having killed three people in cold blood, and tried to remind her she should be feeling much more guilty about it all, a hell of a lot more than 'not at all'. But the true part won yet again. Yeah, fuck guilt, I am Ema fucking Ryan, game-changing badass and breaker of heads.

It dawned on her there that she was still actually looking at the body. And not feeling at all sick any more. And why should she? This was her own work, what she'd chosen to do in retaliation to the girl whose name she'd never bothered to find out, for trying to stop her from taking her rightful place as winner. Exactly. She deserved it and in a roundabout way she's just made me a bit more hardcore. Maybe I should be thanking her, whatever her name is.

With that in mind, searching Meredith's body - and soon after, her daypack - for supplies was much more palatable. Food and water and bandages she took, the staff she left lying by the other girl's body. Too erratic and unwieldy to use, not without spending a few years training with it first. That was that, then. Time to move on, as planned, to the safer half of the island. Ema paused at the apex of the bridge only to take one last look into the water, offering a soft, barely audible "Bye, Hayley. I love you."

After that, nothing left to do but move on, nothing worth staying behind for any more. The only thing left worth doing was surviving. Survive right to the end, that's the game. Keep letting 'em think you're fragile and lucky, they'll never see it coming. I'm Ema Ryan, look upon my works and de-- no, not quoting Ozymandias, that's retarded.

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


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

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