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Cala Luna; Oneshot; Early Morning Day Three
Topic Started: Aug 11 2013, 01:42 AM (493 Views)
Shangela
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Glitter, Whiskey, and a hefty dose of Harlotry
[ *  * ]
((G074- Brianna Battaglia continued from Interstice of Time))

...put the slide back on the frame. Take note to draw the slide far back on the frame until you hear the audible click.

Despite being a gun, by virtue one of the most explosive and powerful items in the world, the issued survival guide was mind bogglingly dull. The guide was picture-less and passionless, sure, but it wasn't sparse of information.
The guide may have been alarmingly dull, but that didn't mean Brianna was letting her anxieties rest. The mere idea of holding the weapon in her hands made Brianna's skin shift cold and clammy. A halo of sweat formed around Brianna's hairline. Her hands struggled to steady themselves as she explored the body of the gun.

Place the pin straight down in the opening, thereby locking the frame into place.

The instructions weren't colorful, but they were simple enough. Brianna hadn't actually attempted to dismantle the gun, for fear that she'd destroy the only item that they had to defend themselves.

Before last night, Brianna couldn't even entertain the thought that she'd ever hold a real gun. Her family had been completely in favor of gun control as far back as Brianna could remember. When the Columbine School shootings occurred, Brianna's father had been running for the Washington State Senate. As a "bleeding liberal," Luciano Battaglia's firm stance on gun control was to be even more unwaveringly strict. He never wanted to imagine a future where his two children could be at risk for being shot in their own school. School was where they were supposed to be safe when their parents weren't around to protect them. To him, Columbine represented a failure in the system to protect their children.

The irony wasn't lost on Brianna. The bleeding liberal, the most anti-gun activist imaginable, had a daughter who was currently wielding a Browning Hi-Power 9mm. The fact that said gun had been used to kill two students in cold blood. Some might say the irony was sweet, but to Brianna, it was more nauseating than anything.

Place the magazine into the magazine cartridge. Note that the magazine safety will prevent the gun from firing unless the magazine is firmly in place.

Brianna peered down to the handle. Her first goal with understanding how the gun worked was to disarm it. If she could unload the cartridge, the gun couldn't shoot and people couldn't die. In another reality, this would be enough of a victory for Brianna; they'd taken the gun used to kill Gabriella Parker and Dan Liu, and now disengaged it so that no more people would die.
However, Brianna's new reality didn't work like that. There were more guns out there. More players. If Brianna didn't defend the group with their new find, she'd be throwing the lives their families had given them, away. As much as it shook her to the core, Brianna needed to reload the gun. She needed to be stronger than she was last afternoon.

Brianna choked down the stringing of nerves and began to reload the gun. In the contents of Theodore Fletcher's duffle bag, Brianna managed to fish out three extra magazines. The guidebook said that the hi-power moniker came from the gun's ability to hold a thirteen bullets in a single magazine. Thirteen times three was thirty-nine. Sprawled across the nurses' desk were enough bullets to kill the nine people Brianna knew were dead about four times.
That type of firepower made Brianna feel faint. It was one thing to have resolve when the prospect of death was a suggestion, but the events of yesterday put Brianna face to face with her own mortality. Could she return the favor with this gun? Could she willingly frighten off a competitor with the weapon? What if the weapon wasn't enough? What if she had to fire it?

Brianna needed some air. The girl closed the survival manual and stood up from her wheeled chair. The chair caught itself spun slightly as the weight of it's user suddenly alleviated. Brianna began to start a trek towards a third story window, when she paused.
In her trembling grip, a grip so unsteady with anxiety, fears and every deteriorating shred of hope, the gun had affixed itself snugly in her palm. Brianna hadn't made a conscious decision to pick up the gun with her. It scared her. It scared her how organically she was carrying that gun. What scared her even more now, was the insecurity of not having the gun.

The fresh air from the window was a cool, crisp wave of ocean air. Brianna closed her eyes, letting the breeze cascade over her. The salty smell of ocean overwhelmed the stale, stagnant air that polluted the hospital.
----

"C'mon Daddy. You promised!" The six-year-old Brianna Battaglia protested out to her napping father. How could he be napping at a time like this?
Sardinia, Italy was famous for it's beaches, Luciano had bragged to the family. The white sands were so uniquely pure and untouched by mass visitation. There were barely any footprints marring the scenic crescent shaped beach of Cala Luna. A quick scan of Brianna's surroundings yielded only three other families, an older man and his "daughter," and a rogue gelato vendor peddling his cumbersome cart along the beaches. The man seemingly struggled to pull the wheeled cart along the wooden walkway, yet approached the Battaglia family with rapid speed once he saw Luciano whip out his wallet.

What the pure beach lacked in human intervention, it made up for in nature. Michael had made some comment on how the sands looked like snow. The pure white Sardinian sands had the physical appearance of a generous blanket of snow, yet the sensation was entirely different. Snow was cold, snow nipped at your bare flesh if you let it. But the sands of the Cala Luna beach wasn't painful at all. They pulled you into it's body like a mother's hug. Warm, alluring, safe. The white color of the sand didn't retain the pounding summer heat of Southern Italy, but captured just enough to warm Brianna's toes as she dug her feet into the body of the beach.

Surrounding the beaches, the crescent cliffs enclosed the beach like a frame. A couple small paths bisected the jutting cliff heads. Vibrant green forestry rained down the ashen mountain heads, seemingly erupting flora off their stone sides. Plenty of birds had claimed these high standing trees to be their nesting grounds. More than occasionally, Brianna would catch a glimpse of a few birds jolting out of their resting spots and diving into the oceans. Most of the time, they'd only kick up water with their lancing beaks. But sometimes they'd pull up a fish by their tales, bringing it back to their nesting chicks. Surrounding the cliff sides and caves, speckles of patterning purple-red flowers mingled with the flat, cheery pale pink flowers. "'Fuschias and Oleanders,' that's what Daddy called them."

However, it was the ocean that really called out to Brianna. The ocean was the purest shade of aqua she'd ever seen. As loyal as she was to the Washington beaches, they couldn't compare to the luxurious blues of the Sardinian beach. The water was so clear, Brianna could see the ocean floor with precise accuracy. Each school of fish that fluttered past as Brianna descended deeper and deeper into the water. She made extra care not to step on any of those pesky sea urchins her mother passionately warned about. With the water being this crystal clear, Brianna could keep a good number of paces away from any spiny urchins.

The ocean tapered into an adjacent cave off to the leftmost mountain head. There was supposed to be a "really cool" grotto deep within the secretive cave. Michael, a strong swimmer in his own right, darted off ahead in the water the moment they got there. Only now had he just returned, presenting, along with a number of vibrant clamshells, a vivid description of how cool the cave was.
Michael was the brave one of the two; darkness had little effect on the brave boy. Luciano used to call him his "little lion." Conversely, the more timid Brianna, was his "little lamb." Brianna was still afraid of the dark, reliant on her Wizard of Oz night-light. The darkness of her bedroom at night didn't even compare to the darkness of the entrance. Brianna shook thinking about it.

Daddy promised to swim in with her, yet here he was napping after their picnic lunch. A promise is a promise. What good was anyone if they were breaking it?
Brianna trounced over to her snoring father. With a mischievous tug, Brianna dug her index finger under the elastic waistband of Luciano's olive green swimming trunks and flung them back. The waistband recoiled, drawing them back in a snap against Luciano's hip.

Snort. "Wha-? Brianna!" Luciano protested being awoken in such a fashion. His daughter, didn't waste any time chastising her father for falling asleep on her. Luciano's complaints dwindled out. "You're right, tesoro. I did promise I'd take you to the cave." Luciano jerked up on his two feet. His joints cracked in protest, but Luciano didn't pay them any mind.

Brianna grasped hold of her father's right hand and walked along the edge of the narrow beach with him. The two were approaching the cave hand in hand. Luciano could feel his daughter's grip tighten. Brianna whimpered at the magnitude of the cave up close.

"Brianna." Luciano stopped momentarily and walked inland. Towards the cliff wall, a small nest of fuschia flowers burst out from their leafy green canvas. With ginger care, Luciano plucked one from the base of its stem and headed back over to Brianna. Without a word, Luciano brushed the hair over Brianna's left ear and stick the flower in, petal first. "Bellissima."

"Oh Daddy." Brianna smiled back. She reached up to feel the soft plush petals of the flower.

What she felt was air.

"Daddy..." Brianna opened her eyes. Under her bare feet, she felt the cold, plastic flooring of the neglected hospital. The raised ridges of the floor collected dust in gruesome ringlets around the elevated bumps. The sound of the sloshing ocean wasn't encircling all around her. The ocean was probably a good mile away from the open window. The churning waters was fair suggestion of noise from the distance. No beach surrounded the hospital. Just cold, manufactured infrastructure. No sunlight reached through the masking gray of the cloudy downcast. The winds weren't warm and inviting, but cool and chapping.

In frustration, Brianna slammed the window shut. But it was too late. With her chest weighing down like an anchor, Brianna slumped down to the floor and began to cry.

((Brianna Battaglia continued in Pianificazione))
Edited by Shangela, Aug 11 2013, 02:39 AM.
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-Credit goes to the lovely and talented Payouni of DeviantArt
Take another drag, turn me to ashes
Ready for another lie?
Says he's gonna teach me just what fast is,
Says it's gonna be alright

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