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Credit Default Swap; Private; #sorrynotsorry
Topic Started: Feb 20 2014, 10:32 PM (1,019 Views)
BROseidon
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Fata viam invenient
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
((Cassandra Black, continued from Tell No Tales))

Cassandra spent the entire fifth day running.

Cassandra was running from the corpses. Running from the death that was growing to surround her. Over the course of the day, more people died. Cassandra heard gunshots. Or she thought she did. She was not sure anymore; the lack of sleep she had gotten over the past several days was starting to get to her. She did not sleep that night, either. She could not bring herself to do it.

Cassandra found herself walking up to the top story of the shopping center. He had not even remembered that it had just been a danger zone the previous days. The names that came in the announcements ran like a blur. Summer had been popular, right? Cassandra vaguely remembered having a Sara in one of her classes, a Theodore in another. Theo had killed a lot, right? Cassandra thought so, but the hours of sleep deprivation and the exhaustion from moving about made it all feel a bit like a dream.

So Cassandra stopped. She paused. She needed a breather.

She needed to figure out how not to die.
The Living:

Matt Vartoogian -- Weapon: Unarmed -- "This isn't a game. This is evil." -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Cassandra Black -- Weapon: Kama -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Virgil Jefferson-Davis -- Weapon: Saiga-12 -- "Ave Imperator, morituri te salutant." -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
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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!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Katarina Konipaski continued from It Looks Good on Paper))

It was a stupid thing to get caught in the rain.

She really should have seen it coming. There was no excuse for those hanging, pregnant clouds to catch her unaware with their sudden showers. She lived in freaking Seattle, for goodness' sakes, of course she knew what it looked like when rain was coming. She smiled a little at that thought, the first in a good while. Except for that moment a hours ago, or maybe minutes, she was finding it hard to care much, back when her name had been called out once again. It was like winning some stupid contest, waiting for the island to hear her name aloud, and then sitting there in those folding metal chairs with the weird curved backs that were never quite comfortable and waiting to walk up to take your useless little certificate so everyone could see. So everyone could hear it straight from the top how she was playing. Lurking, ambushing. Danya called it impressive, though she still wasn't quite sure how to take that. It would keep them all away, though. Make a nice, wide berth around her.

She scuffed her heel accidentally on the hard tile floor, and busied herself scuffing the other one as well. Not too purposeful, or it wasn't symmetric. A nice little squeak, too, if she could manage it before she wiped all the moisture away. Her eyebrow twitched and she let it go while she was at it. Theo was dead, and the thought came to her just as the first announcement of it had. Sudden and inevitable. He'd done exactly what she'd tried to get him to do, it seemed. Went and barked up the wrong tree. The worst possible tree to bark up, even. The biggest, baddest dude still alive on the island, if she wasn't off on her counting. A bad enough dude to get back home, maybe, after their class had been thefted by terrorists. She shook her head as if to brush away any little trace of amusement from her mind. Damp, lank hair fell over her shoulders in tangled strands. She opened her mouth and gave a sort of half-sigh, half-yawn, uninterested in articulating it into either. When that was done she wiped her eyes. They'd been watering a lot lately, and yawning didn't help.

The shopping center offered decent cover, for how long she couldn't say. It would be popular, she thought, with people running in and out scrounging for cans of food she personally didn't trust and had no safe way to open. With every step she leaned a little on her scythe, grinding the butt of it on the floor with a little soft thunk. She had her reward, anyways. It stuck in her throat by now, but that was good enough in itself, if her body didn't start totally rejecting it. She'd earned it all, every sickening bite, and it would see her through to the end.

Her boots slid a little in the dust and the grime as she slid into the safety of an old decrepit shop. She could sit there, maybe even lie down, wait out the rain with the gun safe in her bag nearby, curl up in the little protective nook of the bend in her scythe. A treacherous, dangerous offer it really was, but the thought of it was nice, and wasn't that the same of everywhere now? She paused and hung on the handles of her weapon and let out a long, heartfelt sigh.
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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BROseidon
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[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Cassandra did not know what to do next.

It was raining outside. She had come inside largely because it had been raining, and shelter would be good. However, other people might do the same. She needed to avoid people. People were killing. Not all of them. Gray and Corey were not. But enough were that it was a problem.

She could hide out in one of the old shops. Try to find some hidden nook or cranny and get some much needed rest. Cassandra's legs were sore, far more sore than they had ever been before. It took all of her focus to keep her eyelids open at this point. She needed a coffee, but there was no coffee on the island. Only death, which was more like a permanent anti-coffee than coffee.

So hiding out in one of the shops seemed like the best plan. Cassandra looked around the mall and picked the most decrepit looking shop. Maybe she could bury herself under some junk as some cover.

It was too bad someone was already inside.
The Living:

Matt Vartoogian -- Weapon: Unarmed -- "This isn't a game. This is evil." -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Cassandra Black -- Weapon: Kama -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Virgil Jefferson-Davis -- Weapon: Saiga-12 -- "Ave Imperator, morituri te salutant." -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
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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!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
She thought she might have been imagining it, but she stood stock-still and she waited until it was clear that she wasn't. Katarina could sense footsteps - felt them as much as she heard them, drowned as they were under the patter of rain and the ramping beat of her own heart. She wasn't the last to seek shelter there, it seemed - or maybe not even the first. There were plenty of nooks and crannies to hide in. Enough dust on the floor to muffle one's footfalls, the patter of rain on the roof to drown out the click of a hammer.

It had been a mistake to seek shelter there, she thought with a sense of rising dread. Most people wouldn't want to tangle with her, of course, but if the few who did were hiding out or stalking closer, none of that really mattered. It was a truly paranoid mode of thought, but were you really paranoid when people actually wanted to kill you? Likely whoever else was in there with her would run screaming at the very sight of her. There was a possibility that they'd do the opposite. Either way, she didn't intend to give them that chance.

She racked her brain for a plan, and the little part of herself that still knew how to joke reminded her that she in fact had two; Plan A was making a nice indent in the spare clothing in her bag, Plan B scattering dim light off its razor edge. It was a half-accurate notion, but she hadn't scoped the area yet, didn't really know what was a dead end or where she might head off someone dashing in an inadvertent circle. Oh, well she forced herself to say and curled her fingers around the grip of her SMG. She made some noise as she slipped behind another shelf, but it couldn't be helped. There was no easy way to muffle her boots, and traipsing around Murder Island in her socks was one of the least inviting things she could think of. With that thought in mind, she looked around herself and braced her weapon hand with the other aching palm.

"Hey," she said and stood a moment, biting her lip and twitching her brow as the scythe fell against the shelf, and then she raised the barrel of the gun and opened fire on the girl who'd appeared in front of her.
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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BROseidon
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[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Cassandra did not even have time to respond to the greeting before she felt the first shot graze her arm.

The second shot whizzed by her head as she turned around to run out of the store.

The third shot embedded itself in her bag as she threw it to the ground between herself and this girl, this girl whose name she did not even know.

Cassandra was running out of the decrepit store now. More shots whizzed by her, but one embedded itself in her calf as she ran out. Cassandra to let out a ravenous roar as the penetrating pain resonated from her calf into her whole leg. Cassandra never knew such fear. Was this what her mother had felt in her final moments?

She did not want to die. She had to run, to escape. She could tend to the wound, take the bullet out. A few bandages and it would all be all right. She could find somewhere else to burrow until help came. She could keep hiding from the reality that she was not going to get off the island alive.
The Living:

Matt Vartoogian -- Weapon: Unarmed -- "This isn't a game. This is evil." -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Cassandra Black -- Weapon: Kama -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Virgil Jefferson-Davis -- Weapon: Saiga-12 -- "Ave Imperator, morituri te salutant." -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
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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!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
The iron punch of recoil on her smarting palms, the rapidfire blasts that laid across her eardrums and thumped against her chest. All so familiar by now. Well-trodden. Routine. And just like last time, and the time before that, Katarina's miserable aim was no match for overwhelming quantity. Call it luck, maybe, or a certain growing affinity - she hadn't flinched this time, no matter how much pain shot through her wrists - or maybe just the law of large numbers calling in for a sample demonstration. Even a chance in ten to hit multiplied by a dozen shots was near-certainty, and she liked to think that was selling herself short.

But any way you called it, the girl Katarina recognized vaguely as her brain slipped a moment edgewise against her fingers as one Cassandra had been hit, and that meant she was going to die. She was spilling blood, dripping and oozing and flicking it through the air with every panicked stride, and that was nothing less than a death sentence. It was a crippling hit at the very least, and that would kill her even if she didn't find some place to stuff herself and curl up and shiver and bleed her life away onto the floor.

Katarina felt herself moving, stepping forward, stowing the gun, the scythe at her side swept up into her hands. It wasn't far yet. How many times had she breathed since the girl had screamed? It was good enough, she thought, but it wasn't and she knew it. What was her goal? An impossible task. To overstep the lines she'd pushed until there was no crime she couldn't fathom. To go dead inside, walk and shoot and tear unflinchingly until she'd done what had to be done, and then reach into the unsullied compartments of her psyche and beg forgiveness of herself. She took a step and then another, letting her attention fall into the depths of her own mind. Leaning forward, curling her toes against the starting line in her trim, tight running shoes, digging a little divot into the dirt as she waited for the start. The realization of her work and her planning, the chance to dig through the pain until it became pleasure and ride it through the finish.

She trotted and then she jogged and then she ran. Her bag was on the floor behind her, and the scythe swung heavily, rhythmically with each stride. It weighed her down, but not enough, because the gap grew smaller by the moment. Her hair streamed long and wild and greasy wet behind her, thumping against her shoulders as she moved, and she knew, as surely the other girl must have known, that there was only one possible outcome now.
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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BROseidon
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Fata viam invenient
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Cassandra hobbled as fast as she could, trying to ignore the pain from the gunshot wound. The other girl did not look like she was following. That was good. She could escape. A single shot from a pistol was not going to kill her.

But her luck only lasted so long. She was maybe twenty yards from the stairs when she heard the footsteps pattering behind her. The other girl was running at her, the gap easily closed because of the difference in their conditions. Cassandra was not thinking about anything other than survival at this point. She had to defend herself. There was no way she was running away.

She had already thrown her bag to the ground, her bag with the kama in it. How could she defend herself against a girl swinging a giant scythe at her? Nothing nearby looked useful for defense. She had to find something.

Cassandra changed direction towards the nearest store. Maybe she could find something inside that could protect her.
The Living:

Matt Vartoogian -- Weapon: Unarmed -- "This isn't a game. This is evil." -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Cassandra Black -- Weapon: Kama -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Virgil Jefferson-Davis -- Weapon: Saiga-12 -- "Ave Imperator, morituri te salutant." -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
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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!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Katarina ran on, focusing on keeping each lengthening stride straight and true to form. She could feel Cassandra's panic rising in her own chest as she picked up speed, the rush of blood in her cheeks and the frantic throb inside her ribcage. The sensation never dulled, it seemed, but she sped on fast as ever. It was her own inhibition, then, that must be falling away, her barriers against the overpowering revulsion that came at the thought of slicing short another life's thread.

Everything was just a little off, it seemed. The clack of her heels on tile floor rather than the crunch of soft rubber on soil. The closed, dusty inside air replacing the sky and smell of saltwater. The arrangement of the handles on the scythe, designed for cutting grass rather than human flesh. That was all good, she acknowledged vaguely, something about discomfort and home and warmth and depravity, but it passed as feeling rather than true thought. Her true attention was elsewhere.

The girl swerved before her and so did she, pushing off her heel and rushing forward in the new direction. The heavy scythe was insistent on maintaining its previous course, but that was no obstacle at all. She worked with it, letting it pull her arms out, and put on one final burst of speed. As she neared her target she tightened her grip and pulled the blade back in a sweeping arc.
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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BROseidon
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Fata viam invenient
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
((GMing approved etc))

Cassandra let out another howl as the blade of the scythe ripped across her flesh. Another round of searing pain enveloped her as the force of the scythe pushed her forward. While normally she could have kept her balance, her wounded leg gave out from underneath her. Cassandra fell to the ground; she knew this was the end, that she no longer had hope for escape.

The other girl lifted the scythe and thrust it down into Cassandra's back. Then again. And again. Each stab caused pain slightly more dull than the last, as Cassandra weakened. Cassandra tried to move, but found her arms and legs slashed in response. Her muscles were no longer responding. With no hope of survival, Cassandra could only think of her future, of what could have been. She had been so close to such great things: four years of college at one of the best schools in the world, an abundance of opportunities that would have followed, financial security and the ability to give a life to her kids that she had dreamt of as a child. She had prepared so hard, so meticulously for the Wall Street game, a game that was going to start as soon as she arrived on Dartmouth's campus. She still had all the research on her computer at home, of what classes to take and what clubs to lead, of how to get into the right Greek house and how to get the right internships. She had set herself up so perfectly.

But Survival of the Fittest was a completely different game. A game where one's ability to calculate a DCF or build one's resume with meaningful experiences meant nothing. Speed, strength, endurance, and a certain heartlessness were needed out here. Cassandra knew it had been nothing short of a miracle that she had made it this far, as she had none of these things. There was a strange perversity in this, that the attributes that drove success in the outside world, the attributes Cassandra strove so hard to develop, meant nothing in a game called "Survival of the Fittest." Every bit of "fitness" Cassandra had developed after her mother's death had only led to her demise.

Cassandra did not know how many times she had been slashed and stabbed by the time her consciousness faded out. She saw a woman standing in the distance. As Cassandra's eyes closed for the last time, her mother turned to her, a bittersweet smile spread across her face.

"Hi mom."

G012, CASSANDRA BLACK: DECEASED
The Living:

Matt Vartoogian -- Weapon: Unarmed -- "This isn't a game. This is evil." -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Cassandra Black -- Weapon: Kama -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Virgil Jefferson-Davis -- Weapon: Saiga-12 -- "Ave Imperator, morituri te salutant." -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
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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!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
It was with disturbing ease that the scythe slid through Cassandra's body. The keen edge carried momentous weight behind it, and Katarina's frenzied swing split knitted muscle as if it were tissue paper. The only real resistance she felt came from the cant of the blade twisting subtly downwards, seeking to carve a path slightly angular to the one she'd designated. She stumbled forward and thought she careened off the falling girl as she sought to check her slash and her running feet, but the blur of movement and heady rush of adrenaline made it difficult to tell for sure. She did know that thick, warm blood splashed across her chest as she spun back around, washing down her arms as she worked them to wrench the scythe back around. The curved blade swept again through flesh and fabric and made no distinction between them, laying open gushing valleys of mangled red.

She lifted the weapon once more, but there was no longer any point to it. A blind man could see the mortality of the wounds she'd inflicted already, and she let the scythe fall back down, puncturing Cassandra's back and stabbing into the floor. A careless gesture for something she didn't - couldn't - care anything about, because she cared too much to make it so. One hundred percent to plan, calculated and bitter cold.

As she relinquished her grip and turned away and marched back whence she'd come, she battled the urge to flick her gaze back around behind her on one side or the other, for something seemed to creep behind her, reaching over her shoulder from the scene of the crime. It caught her and filled her; a feeling, as she stepped over bloody crescents rimmed with spattered droplets and smeared into half-footprints, that she'd done something simply, slightly off. Not the dastardly sort of wrong, but needling, sheepish guilt that came when you swore ten ways you'd fulfill some request or other and found yourself dodging any reason to explain at the end of the allotted time why it had gone undone, only magnified a thousand fold. The denial, she thought, if she could be so grand, of what it meant to be human. The dignity, the sense of purpose, that it all really mattered somehow and that people would come lay flowers on your grave and speak in strained voices over a pulpit about how your memory had imprinted itself upon the world. And then the notion that one could be tossed aside so lighlty, as an obstacle, as a thing.

She swept up Cassandra's bag as she reached it, steering her mind from that rutted road, and rifled through its contents. Some food, some clothing, a first-aid kit and water, all routine. And the surprise, the windfall - something curved and sharp and decently-sized. Like a miniature version of the scythe she herself had been issued. She thought again of Rosemary Whatserface and her nice little knife. Something she could use if she was cornered, something less wearying to heave around. She's explore the possibilities later, she thought, scooping up her own bag and returning to wrench the scythe out of its latest victim, but the bangs and the screaming and the blood made a giant neon arrow for anyone else lurking in the nooks and crevices of the place. That's what she told herself, striding quickly away from the ghosts that followed her to the stairs down to the bottom floor.

((Katarina Konipaski continued in Fumble))
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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