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It Looks Good on Paper; a.k.a Lanadeath
Topic Started: Jan 19 2014, 04:08 PM (1,215 Views)
KamiKaze
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Can you hear me?
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Lana Torres continued from The Sound a Sloth Makes))

The weather had cleared up since yesterday. Not by much, but enough where it didn't look as dreary as before. Ever since this morning, the sun had peeked out a bit, making things a little brighter. It was definitely a step-up from yesterday. As Lana looked out the window of the store she was in, she felt a little better than she was before. Not by much, of course, but something much more pleasant. If she had to guess, it was afternoon now, and hopefully the weather would still be that good until nighttime.

But they had to keep looking. There had to be something inside these buildings.

They had found themselves inside some kind of town again. This time, though, it looked run-down. Well, a lot more run-down than when they last visited a set of buildings. Lana had seen a fair amount of buildings that seriously needed upkeep before, but not to this level. The streets had been littered with strips of paper, and cars had been permanently parked and broken down alongside the roads. The streetlights weren't better, either, with the shattered glass that remained of bulbs. They had decided to look inside the stores to see if anything was there. So far, they hadn't found much, but it was worth a shot. As much a shot as the fish were, at least.

Lana gently gripped the notebook they had found. No pen, unfortunately, but it was a step up. It had been laying inside one of the shops, inside a drawer in the front desk, and while it was a little water-logged and warped, it seemed to still be feasible. If anything, it seemed to be embarrassingly girly. The pages were a faded pink, and on the hard cover a pegasus was in mid-flight. Lana had found herself recalling the notebooks and stationary girls used to have when she went to elementary, with their vibrant colors and rainbow animals. It was something she would normally not be caught dead with unless it were something like the current My Little Pony, but it would do for the time being.

If anything, it was an improvement. Lana had thought multiple times how she would have liked to have some pen and paper. Sometimes it was hard for her and Stephanie to talk, since the terrorists had taken her hearing aids. Words couldn't describe the relief she had when she had found it, girlish appearance and all. The only real problem was obvious: finding a pen or something similar.

They searched through the shops a bit more, and eventually stumbled on what appeared to be a set of apartments. She had been hesitant to go in, but it was at least a look. The graffiti on the walls didn't comfort her much, nor did the cement walls. But eventually, she couldn't help it. They had to go inside. Just a quick look, and they'll go. She didn't like how the outsides looked, but just a peek at them wouldn't hurt.

The two of them were currently now in some kind of reception area, probably where the landlords and such worked. There had to be an answer to the pen question in there, make no mistake about that. Lana found herself pulling at drawers again, looking for something to write with. So far, though, no luck.

Light from the entrance still beamed in, giving them plenty of light to work with. The sounds of them moving around objects filled the air. It was close to impossible for the terrorists to-

Just as she opened that one bottom drawer, she saw a long thin black object. It was very unmistakable, but Lana had to pick it up to be absolutely certain.

A pen.

She placed the notebook on the desk, eyes filled with hope. It had to be tested, to see if it would actually work. Her hands flipped open to the nearest blank page. With the pen, she swiftly shook it and drew a scribbling motion on the page. Lana felt further relief. The pen took only a moment to work.

She decided to write something down for Stephanie to say something to her.

"It's not Rainbow Dash, but it'll do", she wrote.

After lifting the notebook and pen, Lana looked up, and said aloud "Steph?"

It was a little louder than what she intended. But she didn't care. Really, she was smiling right now. At least things were looking up for now. They hadn't found food or such, but they found something to write with. That was a pretty good improvement, all things considered.
RICHARDS/BAINES OTP!

Coming to a V7 near you.
Bree Jones- "I'm not exaggerating when I say that my fish are smarter."
Roxanne "Roxie" Borowski- "Next video? Oh man, tons of ideas, dude. Lemme get the makeup for that."

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Rocky
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They see me walking, they hating
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Stephanie Chan continued from The Sound a Sloth Makes ))

In some ways, it was nice to be back inside. Ever since leaving the hotel, the two had spent most of it outside. Stephanie was never one for the outdoors. As soon as the announcements came on, informing them of the new danger zones, they were able to head back into civilization. They had a goal, one that they had partially succeeded in. Walking through the streets, she couldn't help but smile whenever she saw the pad of paper they had found. She remembered having something very similar back when she was five or six. Now they just needed something to write with.

The apartment building they were in was definitely in rough shape, but it was still a sight for sore eyes. Upon entering, they found themselves in the front lobby, and Lana immediately went to see if she could find any pens. Stephanie decided to wander down the adjacent hallway a bit, seeing if any of the doors would open. The first one she tried was locked, as was the second. Just as she got to the third one, she heard Lana call for her. It had been awhile since she had heard her friend sound so happy, so she could only assume that she had found a pen.

Walking down the hallway back to the lobby, She smiled again as she saw Lana, pen in hand. Stephanie walked next to her friend, looking at what she had written on the notepad. She had to suppress a small giggle as she took the pen from Lana's hand and scribbled something down on the paper.

" Beggars can't be choosers." She looked around momentarily before she began writing again. "So what do we do now?"
Edited by Rocky, Jan 20 2014, 02:46 PM.
G068 Chan, Yuan Stephanie
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KamiKaze
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Within a few seconds, Stephanie had come back, a smile on her face after seeing the pen in her hand. It was really a lucky break that they had found these supplies.

Once Lana had shown her the paper, she giggled a bit at what had been written down, and started writing back. When she had the notebook and pen again, she read the response.

A pause. What could they do? She didn't feel like sticking around in the apartments that much. There might still be a bit of extra food laying around, but would any of it last for that long out in the open? Lana doubted it. There could possibly be other supplies that could be good. Extra pens, more paper, maybe something that could be used as an extra weapon. However, Lana still was a little creeped out by this place. It was exactly the sort of place where people got shot, in her opinion. Well, not in apartment front lobbies normally, but you never know, especially on an island filled with killers.. On the other hand, it was a little better to be indoors for the first time since... what? The hotel? Yeah, that was probably it.

Really, there were a lot of advantages to staying inside, come to think of it. It could rain again, for example. While things seemed to have cleared up a bit, there still seemed to be another chance of rain. If it did, at least there would be a way to stay out of the weather. Looking for shelter before it rained yesterday hadn't exactly been pleasant.

Lana thought for a few seconds, and began writing.

"The way I see it, there are several options. Option A would be to keep looking since there is possibly something else in here that we might need. Option B is to head on out of the buiilding and find someplace to lay low. Option C, we stay in here and hope no one finds us. Ideas?"

To be honest, she was tapped out of ideas herself, and those were the only ones that came to mind.
RICHARDS/BAINES OTP!

Coming to a V7 near you.
Bree Jones- "I'm not exaggerating when I say that my fish are smarter."
Roxanne "Roxie" Borowski- "Next video? Oh man, tons of ideas, dude. Lemme get the makeup for that."

In Loving Memory

Humiliating things I caught you guys saying

Kami's Promise for v6 (doing this again)

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Rocky
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They see me walking, they hating
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Stephanie read the options, mulling them over in her own mind. None of the options seemed particularly appealing, since any of them could lead into unfavourable positions. They had a pad of paper and a pen, so there didn't seem to be much reason to keep looking, though how long the pen would last was anyone's guess. Even so, the lobby was rather open which didn't sit well with her. Leaving this place and trying to find somewhere else meant that they would be on the move again, something that she was beginning to get used to at this point. As grim as it was, but Stephanie actually felt like she was kind of starting to get in shape with all the walking she'd had to do. Staying was also a somewhat favourable option, so long as they could find an apartment door that wasn't locked.

Finally, she took the pen and started writing. "Any of those options seems like a good one." Pausing for a moment, she tried to figure out how to put what she was going to say next into words. "I think we have enough paper and a pen for now, so I'm not sure staying here would be the best move. At least we're inside."

Placing the pen down on the desk, she stood. Looking back down the hallway she had been inspecting. She'd only managed to try a couple doors but they had been locked or jammed through misuse or something. Lana was much stronger than her, so maybe she could force one of the doors open. Before Lana could respond to what she had written, Stephanie grabbed the pen again and began writing a quick note.

"It'd be nice to sleep in a bed again at the very least."
Edited by Rocky, Jan 23 2014, 01:24 AM.
G068 Chan, Yuan Stephanie
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KamiKaze
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Stephanie seemed to be at a loss as well. All of them seemed good and yet not so good. Really, each had its benefits and setbacks, which was the problem. They had enough pen and paper for the time being, and the lobby was more than a little open. Maybe deeper into the apartments, or another building, that was safer. They hadn't checked the state of the rooms yet. She imagined they smelled musty, like unwashed sheets. It would be far from the best place to sleep, but honestly it was a step up from... pretty much everywhere they had slept since they woke up on the island.

A bed. That would be nice.

Lana bit her lip, thinking some more. As she took the pen back from Stephanie, she thought a bit more about what she wanted to do.

"Sleeping in a bed would be nice. Did you see anything in the hallways that would be a nice place to spend the night? Rooms and such? Beds would be just as much an improvement."

What else could she say? She thought of something else to write down.

"If we don't pick this building, there are others that might be good. But we might need to take a further look."
RICHARDS/BAINES OTP!

Coming to a V7 near you.
Bree Jones- "I'm not exaggerating when I say that my fish are smarter."
Roxanne "Roxie" Borowski- "Next video? Oh man, tons of ideas, dude. Lemme get the makeup for that."

In Loving Memory

Humiliating things I caught you guys saying

Kami's Promise for v6 (doing this again)

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Rocky
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They see me walking, they hating
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
"The doors I tried were locked, but maybe we'll find one that isn't. Couldn't hurt trying." Stephanie wrote on the paper before looking around.

There was a couple hallways on either side, with a number of doors. Surely at least one of them would be unlocked? If they could get into one of the rooms the place would be low key enough for them to hide out for at least a little while. There was enough buildings and rooms around here that the chances of someone finding their specific room seemed rather slim. It's not like they had much to lose right now in checking.

Turning back to the pad, Stephanie began writing again. "At least we have an easier way to communicate now : )"

Putting the pen down, she motioned that she was going to go down the hallway, to see if she could find an open door. Hopefully one of them would open, though she had a feeling that it wouldn't be so easy. Either way, she wanted to try before writing off this particular building right away.
G068 Chan, Yuan Stephanie
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KamiKaze
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Can you hear me?
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Locked? That was unusual. It seemed as if the people who lived here before were in a rush. Lana shuddered to think of what could be hiding behind that door, then. The papers on the street spoke of an evacuation, as if something happened. What if people had decided to lock themselves in before, and once they opened they would see... what was left? That was a morbid thought. As if the bodies of their classmates weren't bad enough. Hopefully the knobs and hinges were just rusted shut or something like that. The other option wasn't all that good.

Lana smiled at the second note from Stephanie. She agreed, the pen and paper were definitely a boon. It was highly fortunate to find both in a short period of time. It was really honestly what she had hoped for, that they didn't clear out all the paper and writing utensils. It would have been impossible for them to.

Stephanie motioned that she was going down the hallway, and Lana nodded. Maybe she could help with that?

Lana walked over to the entrance, picking up her bag from where she left it, just in case. And slowly, she made her way down the hallway. As she fumbled with the doors, she couldn't help but notice the other option was true: at least part of the doors were rusted shut. Even if Lana were one of the stronger students, she couldn't pull the hinges open. It didn't help that there were a few flies hovering in the air, but she couldn't figure out where they were coming from.

Eventually, though, the knob to one door turned. Not easily, and Lana had to put a bit more strength into it. But like a magic word, the door opened with a loud creak, revealing a living room. From what she could tell, there was a ratted sofa, a coffee table, and what appeared to be a likely outdated television.

Lana smiled again.
RICHARDS/BAINES OTP!

Coming to a V7 near you.
Bree Jones- "I'm not exaggerating when I say that my fish are smarter."
Roxanne "Roxie" Borowski- "Next video? Oh man, tons of ideas, dude. Lemme get the makeup for that."

In Loving Memory

Humiliating things I caught you guys saying

Kami's Promise for v6 (doing this again)

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Let's show that private threads aren't necessary! I pledge not to start any private threads on island in V6. If I started a thread, you are welcome to join it.
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Rocky
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They see me walking, they hating
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
The loud creak of the door caught Stephanie's attention. She turned around to see Lana smiling, one of the doors flung open. Stephanie sigh, happy that she was able to find something in here. Even if they didn't end up staying here, the fact that the doors could be opened was a good sign. Walking to the door, she took a few tentative steps in, leaving Lana in the hallway as she looked around. It wasn't much to look at, and everything was practically falling apart from disuse, but it was honest to goodness civilization in that room. There might be some danger with mold or vermin or something, but realistically with the amount of time they had left she doubted that would end up being what killed them in the end.

She took the pen and paper from Lana, and began writing. "It's not home, but it's better than the outside. I think we could afford a day or two in here. Figure out what to do next." She handed the materials back to Lana before looking in the room a bit more.

The living room itself wasn't too bad. They had enough stuff that they could use to barricade the door, assuming anyone else thought to try the doors seeing how rusted they were. She doubted there was anything in the kitchen, and the small bedroom shooting off of the living room had a decent sized bed, large enough for the two to comfortably share. Everything seemed to be going their way. She returned to the doorway, waiting to see if Lana had anything else to say about the place.
Edited by Rocky, Jan 27 2014, 03:22 AM.
G068 Chan, Yuan Stephanie
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KamiKaze
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Stephanie thought that it was much better than outside, and Lana agreed. There was a weird smell to the room, from what she could tell from where she stood in the hallway, but not too terrible. The sofa probably wasn't too unbearable to sleep on, and there was most likely a bed. The thoughts of something soft to sleep on cheered Lana up further. The television obviously wasn't going to work, but at least there was a roof over their heads and someplace comfortable to sleep. She could live without television for a while longer, anyways.

After handing the pen and paper back to her, Stephanie stepped into the room a bit more, looking deeper into it. Lana, however, found herself staying in the hallway. It seemed doubtful that someone would be waiting for them inside the room, but she wanted to hear what Stephanie said about it.

Maybe she should step inside, though, see everything for herself. Probably the better option, but Lana found herself wanting to stay in the hallway a bit longer. It couldn't hurt too much, in her opinion.

A quick time later, she came back. Lana had been writing again, and handed it back to her.

From what I can tell, it seems like a major improvement from where we've slept before. A little weird smelling and disused, but we'll be fine. How are the other rooms? There's most likely a bedroom or two.

Lana was sure it would be a fine place to sleep. Just a little odd, nothing really all that dangerous or unpleasant, especially in comparison to what they had dealt with before.
RICHARDS/BAINES OTP!

Coming to a V7 near you.
Bree Jones- "I'm not exaggerating when I say that my fish are smarter."
Roxanne "Roxie" Borowski- "Next video? Oh man, tons of ideas, dude. Lemme get the makeup for that."

In Loving Memory

Humiliating things I caught you guys saying

Kami's Promise for v6 (doing this again)

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Rocky
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They see me walking, they hating
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
"There's a kitchen and a bedroom, probably a bathroom attached in there. Looks like this place was meant for one person." Stephanie wrote down, tapping the pen against the page as she thought.

She couldn't stop herself from smiling. After everything that had happened in the last few days, all the death and the hate and the rain and lord knows what else, someone somewhere decided to give them a break. They found a place out of the elements, and out of the way. Sure, she didn't doubt that people would try and find shelter like they did, but this building alone probably had a good hundred or so apartments, and it wasn't exactly the only building in the area. They would be alright here, as long as they didn't make any unnecessary noise or use any unnecessary light. Between the two of them they could probably move the couch against the door, and since they were on the first floor they could always escape out a window or something if it came down to it.

Once they had everything settled, they could figure out what to do. Both of them were known quantities, and no doubt had people out to get them. Staying off the radar for a day or so might help, plus with their new communication tool they would be able to better plot out their course of action. Ideally they would be able to avoid any confrontation at all costs, but the chances of that were slim at best. Which meant they would have to be ready to protect themselves and each other. Stephanie was ready to do whatever it took. She just hoped Lana would be the same.

"We should be safe here for at least a day or two, I say we should stay."
G068 Chan, Yuan Stephanie
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KamiKaze
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
A bed? A kitchen? Things got even better.

She doubted that a stove would work, but maybe it wasn't electric, and perhaps the gas would still somehow heat up. That was a hope, though. In any case. things appeared to be looking up for once. A bed, pen and paper, somewhere indoors, what else would be good? Well, food would be a further step up, actually, but she doubted that if there was food in there, it wouldn't be as good. It would have likely gone bad. But she was sure food wasn't as much of an issue, at least not right now. It steadily disappeared, but maybe later they could go looking again for it.

Sure, it wasn't Disneyland. It was far from Disneyland. But for one moment since she first woke up at the aviary and met with Stephanie and Ilya, things seemed to get better. Ilya wasn't coming back, nor was Mike, or Dave. They never were. She still didn't know what happened to Baxter. There were still many people out there, people she knew from before. There were still people who also would benefit from their deaths. Her hearing aids weren't going to just appear on her ears on a whim. But Lana had a feeling that things had improved, that they were going to only improve a bit more. Something could still happen that wasn't all that good. Could? It was inevitable. But just this once, there were things to smile about.

"Agreed", she wrote back.

She doubted they were going to be rescued. Only a miracle would have that happen. But she had Stephanie, and Stephanie had her. She was feeling lucky today, and Stephanie probably was too. How long it would last, she didn't know. But she knew it would be great if it were to last a while longer. They had been friends for most of their lives, and she didn't know what she'd do if Stephanie were to die first.

How long would their good fortune last? She didn't know. For that matter, how long until their time was up? To be honest, while the thoughts came up in her mind, it wasn't something she tried to dwell on too much right now.

It was the first time in a while Lana felt happy, and she didn't want that to be taken away from her. It was all she wanted. Sometimes she had thought about playing, but she didn't want to give in. It had started to look increasingly appealing, but not anymore.

It was strange how just finding a place to sleep and some writing supplies made her hope. But there it was, just a bit.

She could only hope it continued to be this way for at least








Female Student #039 Lana Torres- ELIMINATED
RICHARDS/BAINES OTP!

Coming to a V7 near you.
Bree Jones- "I'm not exaggerating when I say that my fish are smarter."
Roxanne "Roxie" Borowski- "Next video? Oh man, tons of ideas, dude. Lemme get the makeup for that."

In Loving Memory

Humiliating things I caught you guys saying

Kami's Promise for v6 (doing this again)

Posted Image

Let's show that private threads aren't necessary! I pledge not to start any private threads on island in V6. If I started a thread, you are welcome to join it.
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Rattlesnake
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Now you may be wondering, who was wearing the bolo tie? Me or the shark? Answer: YES!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
In the echoing stillness of the room the silence hung thick and smoky and sudden, uncut even by a whimper.

((Katarina Konipaski continued from Crushed Dreams and Broken Hearts))

Katarina hissed through her teeth, shaking her hand as if to dislodge something clinging to it, shooting needles of residual pain through her wrist. She wasn't at all surprised to see a pair of round black holes dotting the ceiling just outside the door, radiating spiderwebs of chipped plaster; efficacious as it was, the terrorists' gift included all the user-friendliness of an unruly mule.

She stared with smarting palms through the slit of doorframe left open, at the junction that framed the shot so perfectly. The inside corner of one room, the outside of another, a little funnel for anyone who wandered by and drab, dirty walls that converged like a bomb sight to frame them. Her own little range to sit and shiver in and feel her eyebrows twitch and her face flushing with determination and fright as the footsteps drew nearer. No voices, she told herself, and she'd ducked in and out of cover all the same, desperate both to get a clean shot and to stay hidden herself, calling to mind memories of childhood games of hide and seek where she'd come across her brother twitching out of his chosen spot and blowing his own cover for fear of discovery. She tried to push the thought from her mind, and all the various things warm or cheerful or funny that her mind leaped to like lightning. And then the moment had come, and -

The worst thing, she decided, was the idea that someone's head could go "splash."

Drawing momentarily back into the room, she looked around again at her temporary hideout. There was nothing new to discover, of course. It was small, utilitarian, and generally unimpressive. Aside from the bed, the only furnishings to be seen were the stained and warped doors of a wall closet and a sturdy, squat side table with a pink lamp laying shattered in its shadow. The window gaped like a missing tooth in the back wall, and her scythe rested against the sil from outside, daring anyone to try to take it. The bed itself was old, musty, so long out of use that even the scavengers of the mites that once lived there would have crawled off to greener pastures, and the sheets threadbare, though likely out of use rather than their prolonged disuse. It was, in short, the most glorious thing she'd ever seen. A respite for her ills, real or imagined. To be properly warm and properly comfortable for a proper bit of rest. Naturally, then, she avoided even casual contact with the covers, as if it they had been slathered in some horrible poison.

She peeked out again. Only a few seconds had passed since she'd screwed up her eyes and felt the roar of her weapon tearing at her ears. She could see a pair of ragged shoes jutting past the corner where the body had fallen back, splayed unnaturally, unmoving. She felt her mind sliding down that now-familiar road, slipping into the ruts of wonder that scored it already. How many miles those shoes had brought her, what else she might have worn if she knew she were donning her funereal dress. There was a sudden sickness, a sort of restlessness within her. The girl whose life had flashed before her almost as quickly as her face was dead, and there was no bringing her back. She wasn't the first, and she wouldn't be the last. And yet, she had an obligation to herself...

Katarina pulled the door open and stepped quietly from the room, head on a swivel and the gun dangling from one hand. Something seemed to move through the edge of her vision, play on the edge of her hearing. She started, turned, and held her chest deathly still.
VeeFive


V4


NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.

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Rocky
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They see me walking, they hating
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
The silence was shattered in an instant. It took Stephanie a few seconds to even register anything, the sudden wetness on her neck and shoulder, her collapsed friend on the ground, the red-stained wall next to her. When her mind caught up with everything else, she looked down at Lana, a sense of horror washing over her body as she saw her friend who just a moment ago was alive and happy. She fell to her knees, grabbing her friend by the shoulder. There was nothing she could do, but that didn't mean much to her. The one person that she wanted to protect, her best friend and only ally, was taken from her in a flash.

She couldn't even form words as she stared, her eyes seeing the ragged holes on Lana's face, her mind refusing to register them. Somewhere in what seemed like the far-off distance she heard a door open. She knew that the best thing to do in this situation would be to stay where she was, to let whatever was opening that door to pass by freely, that anything other than staying where she was could lead to her joining Lana much quicker than her friend would want her to. The rest of her didn't care, her grief beginning to mix with anger and rage, knowing that whatever she found in the hallways at this moment would be what had ripped her best friend away from her.

Standing up slowly, Stephanie slowly walked towards the door. She had no intention of a confrontation, she could recognize that in this state of mind she would just end up doing something reckless. Her intention was to at least identify the one who did this, so that she could find them at a later time. Right now all she wanted to do was to give Lana a proper send off, but she needed a place to focus all her rage. That person just happened to be in the hallways. She also happened to look in her direction as she peeked her head out the door. She locked eyes with the other girl in the hallway, not daring to make any movements before she did.
G068 Chan, Yuan Stephanie
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Rattlesnake
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Now you may be wondering, who was wearing the bolo tie? Me or the shark? Answer: YES!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
For a few brief seconds, Katarina returned the newcomer's gaze. There wasn't supposed to be anyone else there, she thought flatly. It was a clean job. Her stomach gave a lurch midthought at the imagine still painted onto her eyelids, but no, not that kind of clean. She hadn't been careless about it all, was the point. There were no voices to be heard, and who the hell grabbed a friend to go poking around an abandoned, murderer-ridden building and didn't say a freaking word while they were at it?

Regardless, she was staring now into the eyes of a girl she could recognize, short and slim and done up in black from head to toe. In a different time, she might have held some disparaging remark close at hand, to hold in private contempt or to readily dispense if things grew less civil, but the important thing now was the familiarity of the name, how it sounded through the speakers dotting every hiding place. Was she prowling the apartments as well, then, sneaking up behind people with some weapon now unseen in hopes of adding another notch to her belt? Katarina tried to read her expression, but any number of things could have been churning behind those unblinking eyes, and she wasn't going to trust her life to subtle nuance. Shock, fury, or sudden murderous determination, all were possible and none were particularly relevant. In the end, it was the worst case she prepared for and the worst case she acted on, because if you played with the odds it was a waiting game for the law of averages to cut you down.

And so she raised the gun once more and steadied it with both hands. Action, not reaction. A killer she might be, but not a fighter. Her eyes shut tight as she pulled the trigger, arms twitching involuntarily downwards in anticipation of the sudden recoil. A single deafening blast rang out and then there was only smoke and a soft half-heard click and the sudden motion of her arms wrenching down against the force of the followup that never came. She didn't wait for the confirming scream or the gasp of pain to cut through the ringing in her ears, or for the dark wet flower of blood to blossom up through Stephanie's shirt. Hit or miss, there wasn't really a way to tell, not before she'd darted frantically back around the corner, digging into her pocket and fumbling for lever that would release the magazine she knew now to be completely empty.

She looked back at the blank stretch of wall that was all the door allowed her vision of. She might have hit, in which case she was fleeing from not one but two bags of supplies, precious food and a weapon to boot, she didn't doubt, probably a dagger of a sort that would slip into the prowling Stephanie's pocket; or it might be a glancing blow, enough to enrage and envenom someone with the means and with new motive. A miss, and the girl might simply flee in terror; alternatively, she might judge Katarina an incompetent fool and dash after her with a new, dangerous purpose inn life. The decision seemed easy now, though her fingers were loathe to leave her pocket and reach instead for her own bag on the floor of the bedroom. She couldn't trust her to lack emotion, to do something... she stopped herself on the verge of the word irrational. Dangerous as hell, perhaps, but a risk that was hardly lacking in payoff.

Her legs carried her swiftly to the window, moving without pause as if there had been no debate at all. She swept up her bag in one smooth motion, stepping onto the squat, dusty end table to reach her point of egress. With a last look at the room, she folded herself through and dropped onto the ground outside, sliding away from the apartments with her scythe back in hand.

((Katarina Konipaski continued in Credit Default Swap))
VeeFive


V4


NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.

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Rocky
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They see me walking, they hating
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Stephanie stood completely still, burning the memory of her face deep into her mind. She had no weapon on her right now, having foolishly left the rifle behind the counter in the lobby. Out of sight at the very least. Her hand formed a tight grip on the pen, the one that Lana had found not moments before, the last remnant of her friend. At that moment she was more than ready to improvise, to do anything it took if things came down to a confrontation.

Of course, Katarina still had her gun, which she was more than willing to use. Stephanie ducked behind the door the moment she saw the weapon raised, but bullets were faster than an out of shape human. Her mind screamed as the hot lead tore into her right calf, taking every bit of her willpower to not make a noise from the injury. She lay on the ground, her breath escaping in small bursts, trying her best to listen for the other girl, to see if she would come and follow up. Minute after minute passed, and she didn't come. After what felt like an eternity, Stephanie finally rose up, finally letting out a scream as fire shot up her leg from the bullet wound. Tears of grief and frustration sprang from her eyes, part of her refusing to believe how quickly everything had been snatched away.

It wasn't supposed to happen like this. She and Lana were in this together. They were supposed to survive and hope for a rescue, or failing that find some other way. Stephanie knew it was a pipe dream at best, but the last thing she needed to do in that situation was to give up. Hobbling over to Lana's body, she sank to her knees again, not even caring as blood soaked into the fabric of her pants, mingling with her own steady stream of blood. The notebook lay next to her, the pages stained red on the edges. Stephanie picked the book up, holding it tightly. Her stomach twisted at the thought of leaving Lana just out in the middle of the doorway like this, but she knew that she lacked the strength to actually do anything about it. After a moment, Stephanie stood. She needed to leave. It pained her that this was the reality, but there was no other course for her to take.

Stephanie hobbled as quickly as she could, collecting their bags and the rifle. The first thing she would need to do after leaving the building was look at her leg, but right now she just wanted to get as much distance between herself and the scene where everything went to shit. She didn't know how much longer she had to live, but she was going to do her best to make every moment count. Which at that moment meant finding the one who had taken her best friend from her. Clutching the notebook close to her, Stephanie limped forward, one thought dominating her mind.

((Stephanie Chan continued in All Things Come to an End))
G068 Chan, Yuan Stephanie
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