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Calamity
Topic Started: Jul 26 2013, 10:15 PM (1,657 Views)
Grim Wolf
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The Very Best
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
W-what...

He opened bleary eyes and stared over at Countryman's face.

"Ar...ar...thur..." he managed, struggling to keep his eyes open. And then...

Look at him. Tired. In pain. Wake up.

"Arthur," he said, forcing a strength into his voice he was surprised he still had. "N...not your fault." God he hurt, all over, in his stomach and his chest and in every possible way. "Guy...Theo...turned on me. I...t-thought he wanted to...make amends. He...I t-trusted him and h-h-he..."

And now he felt tears coming, tears he couldn't suppress. Not because of the pain but because he had failed, so totally and completely. Trusted him. Like a fool. Like a god damn stupid fool.

But as they dribbled out, he smiled. Forced himself to smile. Forced himself to grin.

"S-sorry," he managed. "H-hurts a bit." He laughed, and that hurt even more, but he had to pretend. Had to pretend he wasn't filled with regrets. Like he hadn't lost everything. Fucked up. Hadn't been a stupid, stupid fool unable to save anyone.

"H-had t-to, though," Xavier said. "T-to t-trust him. H-had to b-believe he w-wanted to...atone. L-like the g-g..." He trailed off, closed his eyes, still grinning. "L-like the girl. W-with the gun."

Shotgun girl. He'd won her over. Or at least stopped her from being violent. Why couldn't he have done the same with Theo?

But Monkey D. Luffy wouldn't be afraid. Dying with a grin on his face. That was how a man died. Wounds on his stomach. On his chest. On his front, so that he could keep fighting. With a grin on his face, to show he had no regrets.

"G-gotta...trust people, Arthur," he said. "G-g-gotta try. C-can't be afraid."

He was afraid. He didn't want to die. He'd failed in so many ways, and he was in so much pain.

But he forced that grin onto his face. Because that was how a man lived. Larger than life. As though he were fiction.

BO46 XAVIER CONTEL: ELIMINATED
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Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

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Ghost Of Ravenstar
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Armed and Unsafe
[ *  * ]
((Gavin Hunter makes a stealthy entry from The Red Shoes))

This is the stupidest idea I've had in a long time.

This thought and others like it persistently nagged at Gavin Hunter's mind as he made his careful way through the tangled undergrowth of the woodlands towards the duck pond. He was down on his hands and knees, his trenchcoat, fedora and equipment tucked under a bush some distance back. There was no easy way to camouflage himself without stripping naked and rolling in mud, but Gavin had compensated slightly for that deficiency by making his approach to the pond at an angle which put the sun at his back. He now crept forward as quietly as he could to view the scene before him.

Discerning the origin of a distant gunshot is not an easy business. It requires practice and a good sense of hearing to help compensate for the distortions sound-waves suffer as they propagate through the medium of air over long distances. Fortunately, Gavin hunter possessed both a keen ear and more practice than he was comfortable with admitting. There had been something odd with the shot that he had vaguely heard from the road. It had reminded him of an M1911A1, but much louder, as if the gun was firing unusually high-grain hand loads rather than any commercially produced ammunition.

The sound had been sufficiently odd enough that Gavin had been compelled to make an excuse to the rest of his group and slip away to try and track down it's source. He had narrowed it down to about a dozen meters directly ahead, and now peered cautiously through the undergrowth to ascertain what he could about the situation. What he saw almost made him wretch.

Xavier Contrel was sitting on a bench with a ragged hole torn through his abdomen, his body not twenty feet from Gavin's position. The wound was massive; more in line with the kind of injury inflicted by a .460 S&W Magnum than a .45 ACP. An injury of such magnitude would have been fatal even if Xavier had been shot in a hospital emergency room. It was obvious even from this distance that the boy was quite dead.

Xavier's body wasn't the only thing that caught Gavin's eye. Kneeling next to his dead body was another boy whose name Gavin couldn't immediately recall. He was big; slightly shorter than Gavin was, but noticeably bulkier. The boy was obviously in distress, but the lack of a gun and the first aid kit he had out suggested to Gavin that he wasn't the murderer.

But where's the gunman?

Gazing around the clearing, Gavin began to notice the signs of a struggle. There was blood spattering a few straggly bushes, and sections of crushed grass that indicated where a body had fallen heavily. Xavier had obviously died hard, and seemed to have fought off his attacker before succumbing to his injuries. Gavin felt a sharp pang of sadness as he watched the other boy sobbing over the corpse, it was all so pointless.

Shifting himself a little to his left, Gavin managed to get a look at Xavier's hands. The dead boy was clutching something at his side, a metallic object that Gavin could easily peg as an M1911 even from this distance. Yet there was something wrong with it. It was bigger than it should have been, with a wider grip and broader silhouette that made it look bulkier than a normal M1911 should be. It also had a shiny black finish that caught the sunlight in a way that suggested an M15 General Officer's pistol, but that was a smaller design than the gun Xavier held.

Intrigued by this mysterious weapon, Gavin settled himself deeper into cover and waited patiently for the other boy to finish crying. It struck him as a bad idea to make his presence obvious, seeing as the boy could snatch up the gun and turn it on Gavin in his panic. Better to let the situation play itself out and see what came of it.
#B051: Gavin Hunter - Equipped with oh gosh a whole lot. "Well, we break for two months and I'm now suddenly in high definition..."

[08:46] Ghost of Ravenstar: I love the AF2011-A1 as it fits Gavin's perceived personality so damn well.
[08:47] Alex: Overcompensatory, unnecessary and appeals to what someone who watches anime obsessively would perceive as "cool?"
[08:47] Ghost of Ravenstar: BINGO!!!
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Solitair
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Where modesty's ill manners, 'tis but fit that impudence and malice pass for wit.
[ *  *  *  * ]
There he went, trying his best to smile. Arthur briefly smiled back before she felt the irritation and running nose that heralded an embarrassing, emasculating sob. In yet another in a montage of good decisions, he collapsed into a ball next to Xavier's cooling corpse and muffled his face, drying tears and snot.

A minute later, he forced himself to stand and look around. It wouldn't surprise him if some cold-hearted motherfucker tried to shoot him while he was paralyzed with grief. Wouldn't that just be the icing on the cake? But he looked around and saw nobody in the immediate vicinity.

Slowly he got up and packed the first aid kit, still sniffling and blinking away tears, feeling a wrenching soreness and muscular clenching in his chest. He needed to stretch and get his mind right, get his mind right. Xavier smiled, didn't he? He did. He wanted Arthur to smile too, since it was easy for a dead guy to say.

"D-dammit, Xavier," he muttered. "The fuck do I do now?" One last glance at Xavier's corpse told him he might not be able to properly dispose of it. Arthur reached down for the arm and tried to lift it up. Alright, it was limp and not that heavy. He could probably carry it.

As he felt Xavier's head lolling around past his arms, he asked himself, what in the hell would he even do with that body? He couldn't bury it, couldn't cremate it, didn't know about any other funerary rites he would even want to do. But still, to leave Xavier like this? It wasn't right. Dude was hyper and had no filter, but he was fun and easy to talk to. Arthur had so many good times with him. The best he could figure was to find a secluded spot to leave his body, where nobody would ever find it.

So Arthur ignored the roads out of the park and slowly, steadily, trudged off into the woods, carrying Xavier's body with him like he was reenacting La Fucking Pieta.

Because why the hell not?

((Arthur Wells continued in Come on, Everypony! Smile, smile, smile!))
Edited by Solitair, Aug 14 2013, 11:06 AM.
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Ghost Of Ravenstar
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Armed and Unsafe
[ *  * ]
Gavin watched the scene unfold before him with an expression that never wavered. It was impossible not to feel sorry for Arthur as he cried over Xavier's body, but Gavin didn't feel the urge to go and comfort him. It wasn't his business, not his pain to share. He could be there for Megan, but not this boy whose name he had struggled to recall.

In truth, Gavin wasn't sure that the emotion he was feeling really qualified as sorrow. It was closer to anger; anger that he hadn't been here to stop this murder, anger at the terrorists for facilitating it, anger at the unknown person who had pulled the trigger and thus proved the selfishness that lay within their hearts.

Anger is more productive than sorrow. Rage warms the heart more than misery. Hatred inspires a man to vengeance more than anguish.

Vengeance...

In that moment, as he looked at Arthur starting to dry his tears, Gavin swore he would have vengeance upon the people who were responsible for Xavier's death. His quarrel was not with the students who had decided to commit murder; it was with those who had made the situation possible in the first place. Vengeance! The word was delicious, it's implications burning through him like triple-distilled whiskey.

In fact, Gavin was so caught up in his revere that it was broken only when he realised that Arthur had finished drying his eyes and had begun to haul Xavier's body off the bench and into the woods. For one awful moment Gavin thought the boy might drag the corpse right over the bushes he was hiding in, but then allowed himself a sigh of relief when Arthur passed a good few meters off to his left.

Peace descended on the duck pond again. A large crow - attracted no doubt by the scent of fresh carrion - landed on the bench where Xavier had breathed his last and pecked inquisitively at the specks of blood which stained the timber. Gavin watched it for a while, indulging in the sight of the glossy black bird confidently hopping about on the mossy timbers, its beady eyes constantly scanning the area for signs of danger.

Gavin was just about to push himself to his feet when the crow suddenly froze, its head tilting towards a patch of bushes that had been partially crushed by the passage of Xavier's body. A passing ray of sunlight had glinted off something shiny and metallic. Gavin would have missed it, but the crow hadn't, and he curiously raised his head a fraction to see what object had succeeded in so mesmerizing the creature. It was Xavier's gun, which had obviously slipped or been dragged from his nerveless fingers as Arthur was hauling his corpse away. Gavin had been so distracted by his private revenge fantasy that he had ended up completely forgetting about it.

Pushing himself slowly to his feet, Gavin made his way over to the crushed bush. The crow, startled by his sudden appearance, fluttered up into a nearby tree and perched there, glaring at him. Gavin ignored it, instead bending down to fish the dropped firearm out from the tangle of weeds that had nearly swallowed it up forever. His fingers closed over the curiously broad handle, and then finally lifted it into the sunlight for his eyes to examine.

Oh. My. God!

He had been right, it hadn't been a normal M1911. Instead, what he held in his hands was quite possibly the most beautiful double-barrelled pistol Gavin had ever seen. The metallic silhouette had been painted shiny ebony black, which had then been inlaid with patterns of gold and silver filigree that gleamed brightly in the afternoon sunlight. The grips were also filigreed in silver, and made of a polished white wood that Gavin initially mistook for ivory. With trembling fingers, he inverted the gun and read the logo along the side; Arsenal Firearms 2011-A1.

"Wow..." Gavin whispered quietly to himself, all thoughts about Xavier's death vanished from his mind. He cradled the pistol between his fingers, tracing them along the designs etched in silver and gold upon the twin barrels which were still warm from the shots they had fired mere minutes ago. It was a religious experience; never before had he held such a perfectly-designed weapon, nor one of such elegance and refinement. He regarded the M1911 as quite possibly the finest semi-automatic pistol on earth, but this gun was ahead of even that masterpiece, patented as it had been by the legendary Mormon gunsmith himself; John Browning.

It took several minutes for Gavin to finally regain his senses. But even so, his body was still trembling like a leaf as he made his way to where Xavier's daypack lay forlorn and discarded in the mud beside the duck pond. He sorted through it mechanically, discovering pretty-much exactly what he had expected to find; ration bars, water bottles, personal effects, a manual for the AF2011-A1, and lots and lots of spare ammunition, some it in magazines, but most of it loose.

Out of curiosity, Gavin picked up a handful of bullets and examined them. They were all either Federal HydraShock Jacketed Hollow Points, or ATOMIC Ammunition Bonded Match Hollow Points. High-quality ammunition for a high-quality gun, he thought as he let the loose bullets trickle back into the bag through his fingers.

Now that he knew what he had to work with, Gavin slipped into a routine that he had perfected over years of practice. He unloaded the AF2011-A1 and then ejected the bullets from the spring-loaded double-cavity magazine into the open neck of Xavier's duffle bag. Once this was complete, he drew back the pistol's slide to drop the two chambered rounds down the magazine well and into the bag alongside the others. With the gun now completely safe, Gavin tucked it under his arm while he reloaded the magazine with a combination of both ammunition types, one type for each barrel of the gun.

When the magazine was full, Gavin reinserted it into the gun and worked the slide to chamber the first two rounds. Then he ejected it and replaced the two chambered rounds before slotting the magazine back into place. Now the AF2011-A1 had twenty rounds worth of ready ammunition instead of the usual eighteen. That meant a total of ten shots, with each pull of the trigger spewing forth enough lead to bring down a charging bear. That much kinetic energy dumped into a human-sized enemy would shatter their ribs through a suit of Type-IV body armor at a hundred yards. It would be overkill, plain and simple. Pure, delicious, overkill.

Gavin was grinning to himself as he began to haul Xavier's duffle bag with it's precious cargo of ammunition, water and food supplies back down the trail to where his own equipment lay tucked underneath a bush. He put his trenchcoat on again, then perched the fedora atop his brow. The AF2011-A1 he tucked into a pocket, then hoisted his own (Grace's, really) duffle bag onto his shoulder. He carried Xavier's bag by it's straps. The added weight was minimal compared to what he was already carrying, and so he accepted the additional burden without complaint. Then he set off to rejoin his group.

((The Intrepid Tale of Gavin Hunter continues in I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.))
Edited by Ghost Of Ravenstar, Aug 30 2013, 12:56 AM.
#B051: Gavin Hunter - Equipped with oh gosh a whole lot. "Well, we break for two months and I'm now suddenly in high definition..."

[08:46] Ghost of Ravenstar: I love the AF2011-A1 as it fits Gavin's perceived personality so damn well.
[08:47] Alex: Overcompensatory, unnecessary and appeals to what someone who watches anime obsessively would perceive as "cool?"
[08:47] Ghost of Ravenstar: BINGO!!!
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