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Credit Default Swap; Private; #sorrynotsorry
Topic Started: Feb 20 2014, 10:32 PM (989 Views)
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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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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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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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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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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