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The Society of the Spectacle; Around Noon, Day 9. Open
Topic Started: Jun 25 2014, 09:01 AM (1,550 Views)
Rattlesnake
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Now you may be wondering, who was wearing the bolo tie? Me or the shark? Answer: YES!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
So, what next? It was a question good as any. The one real question, when you got down to it. You'd stack it upon itself and call it your future, but time sliced itself into now and now and now. She could wish Claire luck, and maybe even mean it. Part of her really wanted to see it go somewhere. And then again, the pointlessness gaped like a chasm before her. Another minute or comfort, or hour, or day, and then it was all done and dross.

She checked over her shoulder once more. Head flicking to the side, back to center. To the other side, back halfway.

The sight refracted through her like a laserbeam. Blasted through her wide-open eyes, reflecting and scattering in the hollowness of her body, setting her gut ablaze.

Hansel.

Gun.

Not down the barrel. Not down the fucking barrel. That deep black hole, the abyss that would stare back with a vengeance until your soul was claimed.

She darted forward. Fingers slick, her sword trailing, the wind pulling at the knots in her hair.

Clatter.

Her fingers dug into soft fabric, into bulky kevlar weave, even into tender flesh. A desperate, defiant deathgrip. But not for her.

Call it instinct. Sell it short. Reflexes got you only so far if you simply screamed and started in record time. She found purchase at the nape of Claire's neck and forced the girl in front of her. What now? A shove, a scramble, a duck. A target.
VeeFive


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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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Laurels
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Cause what you see isn't always the truth
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
If she was removed from the scene, Claire would have found it funny that she referenced Firefly just a few seconds before Katarina dissolved their truce. Part of her would have screamed "Curse your sudden, yet inevitable betrayal!" as she was flung forward into the path of bullets. That would have been good for a laugh, or at least an MST3K style riff if she was watching this as a movie or a show. But that wasn't the case, and she didn't even have time to think of much beyond the horror that was happening.

Katarina had been twitchy the whole time, and now it came to a head. Someone had opened fire on Katarina. Claire heard the bullets, and was ready to dash back into the alley. That sounded like a good plan: dash into the alley, then use the cover to get the hell out of dodge. Katarina would have probably died, but that would have been some cosmic interference telling Claire that Katarina wasn't going to help her.

Except that Katarina was faster, and she got behind Claire first. Claire felt Katarina touch all over her, trying to get a grasp on part of her body. Claire wanted to protest, but before she knew it, she was being shoved out into the street. That's when Claire saw the attacker. Hansel fucking Williams. He was trying to kill Katarina, and yet she was entering the path of his bullets instead.

Claire cried out as she felt the bullets impact against her chest. The bullets smashed against her Adventure Time t-shirt and through her denim jacket, impacting with the vest beneath. It turns out the kevlar vest was as effective as she hoped. At least, for the most part. Even she had to admit it still hurt like hell.

Claire was hit in the chest roughly four times, the force of the attack throwing her to the ground. She fell onto her stomach, her bag falling to the side. She kept the flashlight in her hand, clutching it even tighter. Her chest hurt like crazy. She was sure welts were starting to form on her chest. The hypochondriac in her started to assume one of her ribs was broken from the force. She wasn't sure though, but it hurt so much she could accept that as a possibility.

Claire laid on the ground, letting out slight grunts in pain. Her hand pulled the flashlight slightly closer to her. She was still alive, and there was a chance Hansel could perform a coup de grace like he did on Kyle. She wasn't sure if she was ready to accept that. However, her mind was drifting away from Hansel, and back towards Katarina.

Katarina, the multi-time killer who spoke to her.

Katarina, who promised to kill her last.

Katarina, who spoke to Claire like a human after nine days in Hell.

Katarina, who wanted Claire to die in her place.

Katarina, who pushed Claire towards a psychopath's hail of gunfire.

Claire pulled the flashlight closer, slightly arching her back. She curled a finger around the safety pin.

Katarina, the bitch who Claire was going to kill.
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NotAFlyingToy
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the bass and the tweeters make the speakers go to war
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Katarina pulled a human shield - was that Claire? - out in front of her, and Hansel weaved out of sight, his foot kicking the shotgun with him. Slamming his back against the brick wall of the buildings that flanked the alleyway, he pushed the rifle behind him again, picked up the Saiga, and checked its safety.

Surprise attack didn't work, but that was okay - he felt like the message was sent.

And if his kill tally was one more in the morning, what really did it matter?

He pushed himself up, walked backwards a dozen paces, kept the shotgun pointed towards the mouth of the alleyway.

When KK didn't emerge, he moved on.

((Hansel Williams, If you've got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow))
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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!
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
They all struggled in the end. The innocent. The guilty. The deathseekers. I'm not afraid of heights, they said. And they step on the edge and the dirt crumbles beneath their heels and their toes miss the ground by a hundred feet. Go on. Jump then. When push came to shove, it was really only a push that would send them

flying through the air. Dragged down by Claire's collapsing weight. No, Katarina screamed in her mind to Claire, don't do that. Don't fold over. Don't expose her. She dug her nails in and the shots flew for hours and days and they finished before she even knew the pain in her knees. Hansel was gone. Maybe. The twists and shadows of the alleys of the town could hide a hungry spider like a web.

She had to move. Push herself up at least, because her shield had flopped onto the ground. Persistent ringing blanketed the scene, but she could hear Claire's breath. See the rise and fall of her body. Had they all missed? Or had she absorbed them? What, even, in the wafer-thin slice of now, had she done? Obscured herself, protected herself? Earned her keep by luck alone?

Her eyes didn't leave the alleyway as she gripped Claire's body and heaved. She didn't notice the weight of it, or the thickness of the vest she wore. Adrenaline would hardly let her head stay still. But she did notice that no blood pooled onto the mossy pavement. She could hesitate for just one moment, toss life on the scales and see how it all balanced out. Her hand slid down to her pocket. But Claire was already gripping her flashlight with an odd determination.
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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Laurels
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Cause what you see isn't always the truth
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Claire pulled the safety pin out of the flashlight. She had the process memorized since she found the instructions for the gun on the first day. Remove the pin, point the back end at someone, then press the button. A single round would fire. She had one chance to do this correctly. One chance to put down the psycho bitch. Claire moved the gun slightly in her hand.

She could hear Katarina coming close. Claire was glad. Katarina would be close, enough to seriously hit her. Claire waited for Katarina to get even closer. Claire's breathing was growing steadily as the seconds passed. This wasn't like with Matthew Young back on the pier. She was going to do this with a clear conscious. Katarina was a threat to everyone, and Claire needed to stop her now. She could be forgiven for this. She was sure.

Claire waited, and then felt Katarina's clammy fingers start to push her. Claire's thumb moved over to where the button on the flashlight was. The gun had turned in her hand, so that when Claire rolled, the back end of the flashlight should face Katarina. She had one chance to do this, and she needed to do it correctly. She couldn't screw up. She had done enough of that over the last week and a half.

Claire felt her body start to roll. She glared at Katarina as she rolled.

"You bitch!" she loudly screamed.

As Claire rolled, she pointed the gun at Katarina, and pressed the button. There was a deafening sound, causing Claire to close her eyes. She prayed she hit the girl.
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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 moment seemed to fold in on itself. All sense was suspended, to be worked out later. She saw it coming. That's what she told herself. Dodged out of the way, that's why it missed. But that was getting ahead of herself. Another rumbling blast erupted, close enough that Katarina could feel the concussion against her chest. Feel the flash of heat on her face, the crushing sound that turned her eardrums inside-out.

Hansel was gone. It was a plea, not an assessment. She couldn't see him. And, no, the source of the explosion was far too near. As the noise still hung and rolled away through the air, she determined it had, against all reason, emanated from the butt of the flashlight.

Claire dared finally to open her eyes. Like the world might not be there if she chanced a look.

It wasn't an unreasonable fear.

There was so much more she'd thrown on that gambit. So, so, so much more. And Katarina felt suddenly sick to even look at her. What now then? Oh, she knew. She, Claire, and she, Katarina. The bet couldn't be any clearer.

Katarina drew the little knife from her pocket. The double-edged, razor-keen knife. Rosemary's knife.

She stared down at Claire.

She flicked the knife open.
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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Laurels
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Cause what you see isn't always the truth
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
She missed.

It was as simple as that. She didn't take the time to really aim, and she missed. She thought Katarina was large enough and close enough that she would have hit the girl easily. She was wrong. She was so very wrong. It was then that Claire realized that there was no more time for mistakes. This was the big one.

She heard a flicking sound, then saw Katarina bring a knife out. Claire's eyes widened as Katarina plunged the knife into her chest. Claire let out a cry as the steel pierced her lung. She started to squirm as her lungs started to fill with blood. She glared at the girl before her.

Claire knew this was the end; fade to black, roll credits, everyone applauds and leaves the theater kind of end. Claire couldn't help but feel so stupid in this last moment. It seemed like her entire time on the island was full of one stupid failed move after another. To Claire, it was like she entered a story by the Coen Brothers, where everything spirals out of control and nothing is really better at the end. She failed, and her life would probably be remembered for a series of failures and stupid decisions.

Claire was starting to feel sleepy. She was probably running out of time, and she knew this was when she'd have to figure out what she was going to leave this world thinking about. So, she thought about home. About the family that loved her. About the friends that made her laugh. About the films she did make instead of the films she didn't make. Those were what people would remember her for, not for the dumbassery of her time on this island.

She didn't need to worry anymore. It was time to go, and Claire was finally ready to go.

Well...not quite.

Before Claire finally expired, she took one last hard look at Katarina. She felt something rise up in her mouth. She quickly hocked up the blood and bile that was rising in her throat and spat it onto Katarina's dumb, bitchy face. She let out a small laugh as she saw the blood hit the girl's face.

"There. I can't say I didn't try..." Claire wheezed out before she stopped moving.

Now she was ready.

FEMALE STUDENT #018: CLAIRE MONAGHAN
DECEASED
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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 gave a derisive sort of laugh that was half a scoff and half a hiss because of the fresh pain that lanced through her face.

She'd dragged her fingers deliberately across her cheek to scoop away the warm red bubbly phlegm that dripped and oozed down toward her chin. A little crunching squelch answered her as she tugged the dirty sunken skin over her cheekbones, and with it a sudden flare of agony. The destruction of the scaffolding her body had spun around and through the bits of bone and stale blood that collected in her nose. Little spindly ladders of fiber and protein snapped and sundered and the whole mess slid just a little and she almost screamed. But not quite.

Claire gasped and rattled in the throes of death, and Katarina looked back and forth between the dying girl's face and the viscous mess on her own fingers. It was then she grimaced and laughed and turned and flicked her hand to send it all spattering thickly on the ground. Not that she meant to pay her respects to the dead and dying. That was the sort of cognitive dissonance that would kill her if she fell into its trap. If she'd had any respect for Claire, then she wouldn't have sliced into her lungs like soft cheese.

She looked for Hansel again as the blood foamed more slowly through the slit in her victim's chest, but only the shadow of his threat remained. Maybe he'd come back, she thought, or maybe he was reasonable instead. Why he'd gotten so far. Appearing and disappearing like smoke, leaving only bodies behind. Hickory-flavored, no doubt, laden with the scent of blood and whiskey and the sound of boots on sawdust.

Katarina smiled and twitched her brow and made sure to bring both hands to bear on the simple task of folding the knife away. The world was such a vibrant place if you took the time to view it. She began slicing away at Claire's clothing, pulling away the useless fabric to uncover the source of her morbid amusement. How strange it was that such an unassuming wound could peel away so much. Cause the whole marvelous machinery to hack and wheeze and eject rich red foam into places it didn't belong and end the whole thing by it.

The vest was thick and black and bloodstained, just like everything else. She tugged and pulled and slipped it off the fresh corpse with some effort. Bulletproof, apparently, was nothing short of absolutely literal. And Hansel was well-armed, and she wasn't, yet it was her own little dagger that had done the job.

She looked around again and took Claire's belongings for her own and twitched her brow and put the bloodsoaked vest on over her bloodstained green top. It was a little heavy, a little awkward, but there were worse things she could burden herself with. She looked around once more at the scene that had erupted so violently in the space of a breath. Hansel's flank, the kevlar-bolstered human shield, the darker nature of the flashlight, and her newfound armor's secret weakness. Enough confounding variables to make her head spin. But she'd be dead, she reminded herself, without that killer instinct. The snap decision-making. The unflinching drive to do anything and everything in her power to make it through, even by the skin of her teeth.

She slid silently from the scene, riding the skill and the preparation and the ragged bandages that muffled the strike of hard rubber on cement, cloaked in another thick layer of blood-slick luck.

((Katarina Konipaski continued in Shallow Grave))
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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