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Eh, anything's fine
Topic Started: Nov 12 2013, 05:47 PM (908 Views)
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[Aileen Aurora Abdallah, continued from Solo Queue]...and then I met you and Matt on these bike trails."

As it turned out, Aileen remained longer with Joe than anticipated. Instead of leaving him, they walked around the island - likely in circles - but found nobody. Eventually, they reached a part of the town which Aileen was sure she visited already. Welp, circles. Either way, it was slowly, but surely getting dark. And as majestic the twilight was, it was also a bit inconvenient due to Joe's and Aileen's situation. There were over one hundred different people who could suddenly appear out of the dark, and only one of them could be Owen. And fuck everybody that is not Owen.

Of course, the worst case scenarios were meeting crazy Summer or also-crazy Theodore. Neither Aileen nor Joe were equipped well enough to take them on, and Aileen highly doubted that she could just suffocate one of them to death with her breasts. Would be worth a try if it came down to it, she figured, but she'd rather not take that risk.

Anyway, they eventually reached a very big house, deserving of the title "mansion", if not for the slightly rotten state it was in. Key word: Slightly. She still was certain that they could sleep in it.

"Eh... Joe, I suppose it is of advantage to seek shelter in that notable building, as... er, as it is getting dark now."
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((Joe Carrasco continued from Solo Queue.))

Aileen hadn't fallen behind. So Joe hadn't tried to run away. He didn't speak much the entire long half-walk-half-jog around the island, usually only to grunt in a mildly affirmative manner. But Aileen filled in the silence just fine on her own. Joe was alright with that, although he'd blocked out most of the recounting of the cannibalism. He still didn't understand a lot of what Aileen said and got a bit weirded out sometimes, but she was decent company.

Aileen had also heard news of Travis. It wasn't... good news. He'd been stealing. As depressed as it made Joe, he could definitely believe that. That had been on the first day, however. It was no indicator of where he'd be now. Joe hoped the stealing had been a one-time thing, and that Travis hadn't been skipping about like a damn idiot, making enemies out of anyone who came into sight.

Still, to hear a scrap of news, even one so useless overall, cheered Joe up a tiny bit.

When they reached the mansions, it was getting dark. But Joe didn't want to stop. The night would cover many hours where he could still be searching.

“No, it's... it's not necessary. I can keep looking,” Joe said, squinting at the mansion for signs of life.
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Eyes were rolled when Joe mentioned that he still wanted to go on with searching. Sure, use the few hours at night with spending even more valuable energy. No way that plan could back-fire. Then again, it was humorous in a certain way to imagine Theodore and Joe having a stand-off with the latter falling asleep mid-sentence. Most likely also very deadly, which was less humorous.... maybe.

"Joe, I command thee to go to fucking sleep now."

She set herself in motion to slowly get to the mansion in front of her, while explaining herself to Joe at the same time.

"There is no use with wasting your precious recovery time to only end up asleep tomorrow!"

More and more she began to wonder how he managed to kill one person. He got his gun stolen, could not realize when it was time to recover, and so on. Aileen was nearly convinced that he would have been mauled by a bear already if not for her company. Even if they were no bears on the island. One would surely just appear out of the great beyond to punish Joe and feed his flesh to...

Bad thoughts, Aileen.
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For once, Aileen was talking sense. But it wasn't sense that Joe liked. Regardless of how heavy his limbs felt, he still hadn't gotten any further in finding anyone. What if Theodore kept moving during the night? What if he found Travis or Marcus while Joe was resting? So many 'what ifs' were going through his mind and he just couldn't wake up to hear one of them on the announcement again.

But if he didn't find them tonight, and spent all night looking, he would probably crash and burn from exhaustion. That was just fact, and all the force of will he had couldn't do anything against that.

He still fidgeted at the gate for a few moments, looking between the mansion and elsewhere, before following Aileen inside.

The mansion was musty and smelt kind of... off. It wasn't a smell he could place. All things considered, it wasn't too bad. Good a place as any to sleep, even if the prospect of sleeping was still an irritating one. There was an old living room with a fireplace, and over it hung a trophy of a deer's head, though it wasn't the only animal trophy in the mansion. Felt like an advertisement for a hunting lodge if it wasn't for the decrepit feel of the place.

“I wonder what happened to make someone leaving so many trophies behind,” Joe murmured under his breath, more to himself than Aileen, as he placed his daypack in the corner.
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Joe was a good boy and followed her. That was a good thing, because she was getting too tired to deal with someone refusing her very clear orders. Anyway, the building they were in was slightly unsettling. Not like the "urban ruins" feeling on night one, or the dumb flies on night two. The massive amount of hunting trophies was actually creepy even for Aileen's standards. She stared at one pig head who seemed to judge her with his dead eyes when she heard Joe saying something. She did not understand him though.

"Huh, what were you saying?"

She averted her eyes from the animal on the wall and brought her bag to the where Joe's was. This place was creepy, but she was sure she'd survive it.
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"Oh, um, well... you know." Joe stood on his tiptoe to touch the deer head over the fireplace, mostly to check if it was real. Though he realised upon touching it that he didn't know how to tell the difference. It sure felt real, though. He didn't find the animal heads unsettling. Compared to the corpses that now scattered the island, these were no creepier than stuffed teddy bears. Just curiosities. "This is, um... it's a big collection. Whoever lived here, they, uh... they put a lot of eh... effort into this collection." Joe ran a hand over one of the horns, rubbing his thumb against the dusty surface. "People don't put so much effort into something... and then just up and leave. ...I just wonder what happened."

Joe let go of the animal head, adding, "I know, it's uh... it's stupid to think about. It... it doesn't muh... matter."

He sat down on one of the musty sofas, letting out a quiet groan as he did so. His legs felt dead. If someone ambushed them right now, it was likely he'd just sit there. Sitting down felt that good.

"Okay. ...Maybe I was a little tired."
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Aileen watched Joe pet the deer which was weird at first but also oddly reassuring. Still, she still had no idea why people would collect the heads of dead animals. Then, Joe pointed out that the owners probably left very suddenly, leaving their apparently beloved collection behind. Why they did that was actually an interesting question.

"Hm..." Aileen looked at the deer Joe touched before focusing on the boy. "There is a nuclear power plant somewhere here. Oh, and when I was in the other part of town, I saw some flyer talking about a evacuation."

She went over to the couch Joe was on and let her fall next to him.

"An evacuation. Goodness, I think I am getting too tired to talk."

After closing her eyes and focusing on her breath for a moment, she got an idea.

"Hm... maybe they left something else too?"
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“The power plant, right...” Joe, with some effort, pulled his legs up onto the couch with him before wrapping his arms around them, looking at Aileen with an alarmed expression. “...You think the island is, uh... radiated? I wish I'd gotten a Geiger counter as a weapon...”

Pity he didn't know the side effects of radiation. That now seemed like an horrible gap in his medical knowledge.

This was rather comfortable right now, though. Though the worry about Travis and Marcus was still in his mind, at least it was unlikely that anyone would be hunting this late. So unless he was already too late—no, he couldn't deal with that. He couldn't. He needed to believe they were still out there.

“They would have left other things... yeah, um... definitely...” Joe tried to think of anything he needed. He didn't want a weapon. He didn't want anything that could lead to him harming Aileen, or Travis or Marcus, or anyone, like he'd harmed Jason. He had enough food, at least for now, and any food would likely have gone off. But... he'd left his first aid kit behind, hadn't he? Back in that hospital bathroom. If there were any medical supplies... it would be better than nothing.

“I, um... I need medical supplies. I... lost mine. Do you, uh... need anything?”
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Radiation... That was actually an uncomforting thought. To know that even victory in this game meant certain death - Aileen conveniently oversaw that her death was inevitable one way or the other - was an unsettling notion. Though she dismissed it after a while. Not only due to hope, but also because she did not discover any symptoms of radiation poisoning on herself. No nausea, no vomit, no fever, no heada- okay, she had headaches, but these had different reasons.

"I do not think that we got radiated. At least we should have noticed it by now."

She opened her eyes and looked at her neighbor for a moment while thinking about how he managed to lost his medical supplies too. If it were any other time, she would have mocked him, ridiculed him, laughed at him. Because how could one lose such important things so easily? Well, by being emotionally disturbed, for example, but Aileen prefered not to give Joe an excuse. However, she was sitting rather comfortable right at that moment. And she was getting tired, so she did not feel like reacting to Joe's amazing inventory skills openly.

"I want something to eat that is not one of these shitty bars. Something to drink that tastes good, like... a wine.

...are you injured?"

Just then, Aileen realized that Joe might have used the term "needing medical supplies" to indicate that he needed immediate medical attention. Maybe. Or maybe not, because he did not appear to be harmed.
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"Wine? Hm. ...Doesn't wine go... vinegary after a while? ...I don't know, alcohol's not... really my area. More of a po--nevermind."

He really could have gone for some pot right now. It was always his go-to when he was really stressed, and he'd never been more stressed in his life. Alcohol sounds like it would have a somewhat similar effect, though he'd never been drunk before. Most of the time, alcohol came out at parties, and Joe hated parties. Even that one that Chuck had dragged him to on the night of prom...

Joe stared at the floor, scraping his nails against his palms again. He hadn't had much time to think about Chuck. He hadn't slowed down enough. It hadn't quite hit him as much as Gabby's death had. He wasn't sure if it was just because he had other things to worry about... people he could still maybe save... or whether he just didn't have as much energy to do so. Now that he was sitting still, though... for the first time since the announcement...

Right, Aileen asked a question. Joe became aware that he'd gone quiet for several seconds after Aileen spoke. "No, no, I'm not... I'm fine. But... I just... I just want to be prepared. Is all."

Just in case. If he could maybe patch up someone... help someone live... it wouldn't make up for what he'd done, and who he'd failed to help, but at least he would be good for something.
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So Joe was not injured. That was good, because she would rather not spend her own stuff on Joe. Of course, that meant that she was not going to give him anything for the sake of preparation. After loosing so much items - full list: her sunglasses - she had to save what she got and only use it when absolutely necessary. Joe was not absolutely necessary.

Aileen slowly felt how her eyes were getting heavy, so she did not resist and closed them. Hm... come to think of it, what did he mean with "more of a po-"? Wait, wasn't he a friend of Travis or something? Aileen was not enterly up-to-date on her enemy's social circle, but Joe asked her about him earlier... so there might be a certain bond, at least. She was not enterly sure where she went with that trail of thoughts, expect that it had something to do with...

"You're smoking pot?"

And suddenly, Aileen thought she knew how he could lose gun and medical supplies.

"Unhealthy, you know. Makes you lazy in the head, like Travis."

Aileen yawned while putting herself into a slightly more comfortable sitting position.
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It was kind of funny. Once Joe wouldn't have let his drug habits slip. And even if he had, he would have spluttered and denied it and, most likely, finished the conversation by running away and having a panic attack in a bathroom. Once, one of his worst fears had been anyone who wasn't Travis finding out about it. The only bigger fear had been that he would fail every one of his classes.

But now? Joe just let out a quiet, humorless laugh. "Suppose it does. Sounds like what Papa would say. ...If I wasn't already in a fight to the death, Papa would probably strangle me for it. ...I suppose he's already... already mad at me, though."

Really, what was pot in comparison to murder? Perspective was a funny thing.

Joe stretched out his legs again before yawning as well. He wondered why yawns were so contagious. For a brief moment, his mind was completely occupied with this frivolous thought. He almost forgot where they were. For the first moment since he woke up in the hospital, he felt pretty peaceful.

But it couldn't last. Thoughts about tomorrow quickly flooded back into his mind.

"...What happens tomorrow. Does this, uh... this alliance keep going?"
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She herself said that that alliance was temporally only, hadn't she? All what she wanted was someone to talk to, and well, she got that. Joe himself had no use, so there was no further reason to stick around. Then again, it can be lonely to travel alone... Aileen was to tired to be concerned about that, thus she decided to postpone the decision for tommorow.

Before she could answer, she drifted away. The last thing she felt before falling asleep was something warm. Joe's body. Aileen imagined how it would be if she was with Owen right that moment, and a little smile appeared on her face.
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...

Well, this was deeply uncomfortable.

Joe had never had someone fall asleep on him before. Especially not mid-conversation. And although he didn't object to touchy-feeliness from people he knew really well (Travis was fine, but even with Marcus he had a tendency to flinch away from any contact if only because it gave him butterflies) Aileen was still a stranger. A stranger who had, with little fuss, accepted the stupid stuff he'd done in the past. But a stranger nonetheless.

He sat there for a moment, shouting in his head about how to move without being rude and waking her up. It then took several minutes for him to slide out without disturbing her.

Once he was free, he went for a quick wander about the house, poking into a few different rooms before it got completely dark. He didn't find medical supplies. He supposed that was too much to hope for. But he did find some bottles of alcohol in a cabinet in the rustic kitchen. Most had clearly turned to mostly vinegar after so long. But there was a bottle of whiskey. Joe wondered if it was drinkable. It probably wasn't even remotely comparable to wine. But it was likely the closest he could find. And if Aileen didn't want it... maybe he could use it for something. Disinfectant? No, probably a bad idea. Or maybe he'd just chug it once there was nothing left to do. Why not. If he got to that stage it wouldn't matter what he did.

He found a bed, but he didn't want to leave Aileen alone. So he just stole the blanket off the bed. He dragged it back to the room where Aileen was asleep and threw the blanket over her. No need for her to be uncomfortable. Then he clambered onto the other sofa in the room. He didn't really need a blanket. If it was too comfortable, it would be too hard to get up and start searching again. And he should keep watch. At least for a while.

He stared at the ceiling as it got darker, thinking about Chuck and Gabby, about Theodore and Miles, about Travis and Marcus. More than once, he had the urge to get up and leave the mansion. To continue his search, despite the obvious reasons why he shouldn't. What stopped him wasn't reason, but the fact that leaving Aileen here, asleep and vulnerable to ambush, would be a dick move.

He meant to wake her up once he got too sleepy to stay awake, so that she could maybe keep watch for a bit. But he fell asleep before he could.
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Aileen's first thought as she opened her eyes were about how good the sleep was. Especially in comparsion to the sleep she got in the forest last night. Then she realized that Joe fell asleep without waking her up. Not that she was particularly angry at him - nothing happened, after all - but Aileen would have so haunted the shit out of the island if some random wanna-be killer murdered her while she was sleeping. Or some real killer.

Regardless, Aileen slowly lifted herself, stretching and yawning, and enjoyed the light of the morning sun before deciding to wake Joe up. Aileen style, of course. Due to momentary respect for his physical health, she decided not to enact her first plan. That is, jump on him. Instead she slowly walked over to him, careful not to make a single noise, and then lowered her head until she was very close to Joe's ear.

"Greetings, my noble knight. Hath thy sleep been well? Thou mu-" All of a sudden, announcements. Aileen removed herself from Joe's ear. So the guy's name was called 'James', huh? The one who interrupted her quite epic speech to Joe. Although, why was he talking instead of Dan... uh oh.

Beep.

Aileen let out a shrill, but short-lived scream. She was not sure afterwards whether to be relieved because it was a joke or angry because it was a joke. Certainly, this completely ruined her good mood. Not even the announcement of Lauren's death cheered her up, and most of the announcement was ignored in favor of a homicidal fantasy involving technicans.

She did notice that the place she was in was pronounced a danger zone. Aileen bolted towards her bag and hastily left the building.

"Joe, get your ass in gear and follow me."

First, she has to get out of the danger zone, then she could think about stuff like plans or strategy.

[Aileen Aurora Abdallah, continued in The Things We Lost In The Fire]
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