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Everybody Loses; V4 Endgame
Topic Started: Nov 5 2011, 02:26 AM (10,282 Views)
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Ericka felt the bullets slam into her back, her knees buckling under the force of their impact before she even registered the sound they made. Like a discarded ragdoll, she collapsed to the ground, her gun skittering away from her.

One well-placed shot to a vital internal structure soon dropped her blood pressure and volume to a point where consciousness was no longer possible. The last thing she heard was the sound of approaching footfalls.


G063 ERICKA BRADLEY: DECEASED
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Reiko tried to keep her footfalls soft and measured, but she couldn’t help but hurry a bit as she walked away from Ericka. As if quickly putting distance between herself and the location might somehow lessen what she had just done. Sarah would understand that all of this, everything that had she had done, had been for them.

All that stood between them was a few more shootings, a handful of shots, and they could be together. She wouldn’t even have to shoot them all herself. If she took care of Ivan or Ilario, then Kimberly could handle whoever was left. And after that....

After that, Reiko would do what was necessary to be with Sarah again. A semblance of a plan in place, she hesitated and took a deep breath to steady her nerves.

Someone punched her in the back. It was hard enough to knock the wind out of her lungs and send her falling. As she started to topple, her hands coming up to break her fall, all she could think of was how did I not see them?

A second punch slammed into her lower jaw. Bright stars exploded in front of her eyes as she hit the dirt, her lower jaw numb and her cheek uncomfortably and oddly hot. Half-curled around herself in the dirt she struggled for her gun, but couldn’t seem to make her fingers work properly. There were tears running down her cheeks that she was only dimly aware of. Or was that cheek? She could feel hot liquid coursing down her face and dripping steadily into the dirt. That couldn’t be right. Could it?

And then the pain hit. Pain so bad it wasn’t even really pain, just something white-hot and incomprehensible. Her face was on fire, her jaw radiating agony into every surrounding nerve from the ragged hole she was suddenly all too aware of. The bullet -- because it must have been a bullet -- had exited through her cheek. It burned where the air touched it, and she knew without seeing that the side of her face had been ripped open. Destroyed. She sucked in air to scream and coughed instead, a wracking, retching cough that bent her head almost the earth below and tasted like blood. Although to be fair, a hysterically rational part of her pointed out, everything tasted like blood now.

Instinctively, she raised a trembling hand to her face and pressed against the wound. Screaming at the flood of pain the action caused, Reiko jerked her palm away as she thrashed and writhed on the ground. It was almost more than she could bear.

She called for her mother, then Sarah, desperately wishing that they could come help her. As the memory of Sarah’s smiling face tripped across her mind, a horrifying thought crept in its wake. Sarah...my face...there’s a hole in my face. What will Sarah think of me with this gaping hole in my face?

Would Sarah ever be able to look at her the same? She was disfigured now, deformed. When people looked at her, they wouldn’t see a survivor. All the would see would be the scars and lines. She would be an object of pity. And what would Sarah think?

With enough time, everything that had happened to them could be put behind them. They would be able to move on and build a new life together. But now? With a hideous hole in her face, how would Sarah be able to look at her and not remember everything? How would she be able to look at herself in the mirror?

The unmistakable sound of a footfall caught her attention. Spurred to action, Reiko planted her hands on the ground and pushed. A hard cough wracked her as she tried to get up, sending her prone again. Something ground in her chest as she hacked, spittle flying from her mouth in a fine spray. Struggling to catch her breath, Reiko managed to turn her head towards the sound.

As she watched Ilario approach her, she wondered if this was what deja vu felt like. This was eerily like what had occurred with Ericka only moments before. Rolling her eyes to the side, she could see where her gun had landed when she fell. Stretching, her fingertips brushed the stock but she was unable to find purchase on the smooth metal. The reach for the gun set off another round of violent coughs.
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Reiko jerked when Ilario put his hand on her face. Given everything that had happened, she had not expected him to be so gentle with her. If their places were reversed, she was not sure that she would have shown him the same.

Each touch of his hand was a special kind of torture. Despite what he was saying, despite all his talk of being sorry and making this easier, all he was doing was prolonging the inevitable. It was cruel, dragging this out under the pretext of civility and mercy. All of the finalists knew that the point of this game was to display nature, red in tooth and claw. What kind of sick game was he playing?

Ilario leveled the gun at her, forcing her breath to come in gasps. It couldn’t end like this. She had to go home. There were people waiting for her. Sarah was waiting for her. After everything, after Reika, after all the death and destruction, only to get this close to salvation. It couldn’t end like this.

“Sarah, I’m sorry. I love you. Remember that I love you.” Reiko refused to break eye contact with Ilario. She refused to make this any easier on him. She hoped he knew what he was doing. How many people’s lives he was destroying by doing this. When he started again with how sorry he was, she tried to gather together enough fluid to spit at him.

Damn him and his apologies.

Distantly, she heard the crack of a gunshot.

Damn him to hell.

G013 REIKO ISHIDA: DECEASED
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