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Layabout; Open
Topic Started: Jul 14 2014, 05:26 AM (2,687 Views)
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((Joe Carrasco continued from Broken Hearts Of Gold.))

Joe didn't make it far from the apartments before he had to sit down. He found his way to a grassy slope, damp from the rain, that led down from an overpass. Sat down. He still had the shakes. Probably from blood loss. Or forgetting to eat and drink a lot. He should do that.

He flopped onto his back, dropping the scythe and his bag next to him. The wound Katarina had give him twinged badly. The pain seemed to get worse by the second. There was perhaps something in the first aid kit that would help. He'd been too focused to actually check.

He lay there, nudging his bag with his fingers. He needed to eat. Drink. Rest for the bare minimum of time. See if there was something in the first-aid kit that would help the pain. Then get up and go find Travis. He was wasting too much time. He could see the sun starting to set already.

But he didn't do any of it. Eating, drinking, resting... nope. Instead he just lay there and occasionally nudged his supplies halfheartedly.

He'd get to it. Right now. ...Right this minute. Okay, the next minute...
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((Leona Van Kamp continued from Platinum ))

Leona supposed she covered a lot of ground since the shopping center. She didn't really keep track anymore, just felt like a pointless gesture when it all ended up the same. She took her act to a new venue, wowed the crowd with some more of her showmanship, then packed up and moved on. She only wished she could have upped the ante with her repertoire. The disappearing glass trick was getting decrepit.

The town drew her attention because it was something new, something different. Something with pizzaz. Her direction of approach took her to an old, rundown overpass. It seemed a good place to work out the ache in her feet, at least until she noticed the supine boy already taking up real estate.

She stared at him for a full minute, hands stuffed in the pockets of her overcoat, before she cleared her throat and addressed him.

"You've got the right idea."
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Joe was in the middle of his hundredth 'I will start moving right now' when a girl spoke. Joe hadn't noticed she was there. He tried to shift a little to see her, but mostly just ended up twitching a bit.

“Do I? It's news to me,” he said. It would have been a very flat tone if there hadn't been noticeable strain in speaking. “If the right idea is not moving, that's something I'm working around.”

He nudged his bag again, frowning. The voice of whoever it was wasn't familiar. He still couldn't see much but the sky.
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Leona shrugged, althought from the boy's vantage point he couldn't see the gesture.

"I was going to say resting, but not moving, yeah."

She ventured a few steps closer, relaxed. She didn't think there would be a problem here.

"Feels like I've just been wandering around for the entirety of this show."

She took one hand out of her pocket and wiped her mouth, eliminating some moisture that had gathered at the corner of her lip.

"You've plans, or just good intentions?"
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“Resting. Not moving. Well, it's all... all decent, I guess. You can sit down if you want. Even if I wanted to hurt you, I don't think I'm in the right shape to do it. Don't kill me, though. Not right now, at least.”

Joe was pretty lucid right now, all things considered. Talking kind of hurt, but it was a distant hurt. And he wasn't nervous about it. It'd be nice if not for everything that had led to this little chat.

He flapped his hand at the empty, damp stretch of grass.

“Uhhh... I guess I have plans. I was looking for a...” Joe had been about to say friend, but that was not the right word for Travis anymore. “For a guy. Travis. I have a... a thing to do.

“Um. Do you have plans? If I can help, I don't mind doing it. Well, depends on what it is.”
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The grass looked particularly inviting, so Leona took Joe up on the offer. Gathering her coat underneath her, Leona took a seat a few feet away from him. He mentioned another of their classmates, but the name didn't mean much to her.

"A thing, huh?" She didn't ask for elaboration. She wasn't sure the boy would give it.

Then he asked about her plans.

What were her plans?

That really was a good question. When you got to it, she really only had aspirations. Goals. She would get free of the island. To achieve that she needed to bolster her repertoire. Nothing went farther than that. Even getting away from the cowboy had been a matter of improvisation, of dealing with a hiccup with whatever was at hand.

"I appreciate the help. But I don't have much in the way of plans, I guess."

She glanced over at him.

"It doesn't help that at the moment I am painfully unarmed."
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“Yeah. A thing.” He did not elaborate.

He could see her now. He recognized her in passing as the magician girl. He'd watched her do a couple of small tricks for someone else once, but been too nervous to approach for a better look. He couldn't remember if she'd killed, and right now he didn't really care either way. She wasn't Travis. She wasn't stabbing anyone in front of him. She was none of his business.

“Unarmed, huh?”

If she had no weapons, she probably hadn't murdered. Or she'd lost them. He'd lost Jason's gun, after all.

“I'm sorry, I can't help with that. I need what I have for Travis.” Oh. He guessed he was elaborating. “There's a box cutter that... that works as a weapon... on the floor of the barricaded area of the shopping centre. If... if you really need it... I don't want you to go murdering people or anything...”
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The shopping center wasn't an attractive prospect. Not after just coming from there. And not for a box cutter.

But now she was intrigued, again. She wondered if she could handle him while he was still lying down, and see just what he had in store for Travis.

Something made Leona keep her hand close to her chest, however. She'd been moving indiscriminately before. This may be worth some direction.

"This Travis...he particularly dangerous?" She asked. On the heels of that, "Maybe I'm the one that could help you?"

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"That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.”
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(Ami Flynn continued from The Secret Fate of All Life.)

"That isn't going to solve anything."

... They knew she was there, now. Ami shuffled awkwardly, noticing, vaguely, that the pain in her damaged leg had lessened. Not completely gone but enough for her to put weight on. She was coming around the tunnel, the same one she passed a dozen times before, when she ran into them.

She looked like she lost a lot of weight. There was a purple bruise staining her right cheek. Ami's hair was on the fritz, though that was to be expected with no shower in over a week. The bags under her eyes were larger than any of the daypacks she had slung over her shoulder, of which she had four.

B014, B018, B049, G072.

... It was odd. Ami's number was so high. Was she the last person registered? Perhaps that was a sign. They were calling her a loser before she even woke up. Or maybe Ami was overthinking things again. She really needed to stop doing that.

The point was that she no longer had her bag. She had the bags of other people. These bags were her, they were her. That's all that mattered. The bag marked B018 held a gun and the long spear that poked out from the top of the zipper. B049 held the Frankenstein, the weight of which was a struggle to lug around the first day on the island. The ballistic knife was in the waistline of her jeans, covered by her shirt. The scalpel was in her back pocket, unused but not forgotten.

The revolver was in her right hand. Four bullets.

"Hi. I couldn't help overhearing."
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“Dangerous. ...Yeah, I'd say so. He's got three kills—I mean, he murdered three people—“ Calling them 'kills'... that just wasn't right. Like they were tally points. “And that was without a gun, so if he's... picked up something...”

There were no accidents with melee weapons. But all three times Travis killed with one. If he'd had a gun, Joe was sure he would have used it. Guns were around, though. Joe had proof of that in his bag.

Then someone else turned up. Couldn't see them. Vaguely familiar. She might have been in one of his math classes. ...Ami? Yeah, he didn't really know her face anyway, but he'd heard her voice in class on occasion.

She had protests.

“...you think I don't know that?” Joe didn't know how to explain so he just added to the magician girl, “I don't need help.”
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The girl coming up to them was a sight. She was laden with bags that, judging by her appearance, weren't gifts. Leona's eyes crawled over the gun in her hand. Everything indicated this individual was fully prepared for handle business if business arose. Leona respected the cut of her jib, if not her candor.

Not so much her timing. She was planning to get some sort of weapon out of Travis, despite his reluctance. Ami's presence complicated things.

Or made it more interesting.

"Everyone could use a little help now and again." Leona said to Travis. She kept her gaze on Ami, intrigued by her.

"It seems you may have solved a few things for yourself, friend." She said, affably.
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"That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.”
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Ami remembered the revolver had no safety. Why she reminded herself of this, even she didn't know. She did not have a crystal-sharp memory of the announcements but she remembered hearing Joe and Leona, Joe especially. With Leona, Ami remembered a shard of glass. She didn't remember how Joe killed. Didn't matter. They killed people. That mattered. Explained why she reminded herself about the revolver, come to think of it.

The urge to just shoot them arrived but it was very faint. She quickly brushed it off, because Leona and Joe were just standing there talking and not killing each other.

Ami had trouble imagining Katarina sitting down and chatting it up with someone. The sight itself did not strike fear into the heart of man, just like someone building a pillow fort didn't scream "I am a threat".

Perhaps it was a trick. A ploy. Ami doubted that though. It seemed ridiculous to think that they were going around pretending to talk while people passed. That looked like something straight out of a cartoon about gangsters! Besides, that was game logic. And Ami wasn't playing. So if Ami wasn't playing, and they weren't playing, then there wasn't a problem, was there? That was all well and good, sure. And maybe, had they met the day before, she would have been receptive to them.

But that was then.

This is now.

They were no friends of hers. Not even close.

So. That was it, then. No more worrying, she told herself. No more attachment. Just walk right past like nothing was wrong and do not say anything.

But then Joe... asked "you don't think I know that?" Something about that made Ami frown. He spoke like she missed the point. Maybe she was missing the point. Ami barely knew Joe past his name and the fact that they shared classes in the past. Even so, she could not help sensing a bit of ire in his voice.

Ami turned her head and stared at Joe, head tilted in faux sad puppy dog look that she did not intend for.

"I'm sorry. I... Sorry. Just sorry."

Ami was about to continue. Ask him why he wanted to find Travis, even though she could easily paint a picture for herself. That was when Leona spoke.

Leona noticed she 'solved' some 'problems'.

She called her 'friend'.

... Leona would not be finding sanctuary in Ami.

"Somebody's child is dead." She said. "There's no solving anything. I just did what I had to."

Four bullets, she remembered.
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"Then help someone else," Joe said flatly. "Help someone who's asking." He didn't intend to be rude, but the words had a harsh tone to them. He thought of Marcus wanting to help him. He couldn't trust anyone who was completely on board with helping him murder someone. And even if he could, this wasn't their business, just like whatever they wanted wasn't any of his.

He pressed his good hand to the grass and, with a lot of effort, pushed himself into a standing position. He suppressed most of the reaction to his bad arm sending bolts of pain down his side, but couldn't entirely conceal the little hiss of breath or the fact that he was sweating from the strain.

He eyed Ami. Now he could see that she had a gun and a lot of bags. ...Had she killed? He felt like he'd heard her name. The magician girl seemed to have the same impression. And Ami just confirmed it with her words.

"A lot of people's children are dead. I'm sure you didn't have to add to the pile," he muttered, disgust creeping into his voice. If it had been a day earlier, before he'd met Kyran, maybe he would have gone for his gun. But he didn't. "You're right, it doesn't solve anything. ...But there's no real answer that would solve anything, is there?"

He reached for his bag to get a bottle of water. His mouth felt like paper. He only unzipped it a little, just enough to grasp a bottle, but the barrel of the rifle Hansel had let him take showed anyway.
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The barrel of the gun caught Leona's eye for a second, even as she started up to her feet herself. Suddenly sitting didn't seem the optimal position to be in, even though her temporary conversation partners appeared to be in moods not conducive to anything of interest. It almost seemed unfair, that they were gifted the implements they had but appeared to be losing the stomach for the finer aspects of the show.

Her own repertoire was stale, played out. Twice with the glass? Really?

"Our benefactors appear to provided us with only one permissible outcome, I'll admit." She glanced betwen the two.

"If either of you has an alternative, I wouldn't mind hearing it. Otherwise it might be best for you..." She paused. At least half of her pretense didn't seem worth keeping up anymore. "It might be best for us to get back to our respective works."
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"It might be best for us to get back to our respective works," said Leona Van Kamp coolly and, Ami noticed, strangely. The way she spoke felt like backpedaling. It made sense, regardless of whether she was a threat or not. People act differently when they see someone holding a gun out in plain sight.

Everyone dies. They either beg and plead and scratch and fight, or they just accept it. They rarely accept it with a smile.

Maynard smiled at her when Ami shot him.

So, no, Ami thought nothing of Leona's change in behavior. But... Respective works? Respective works, what the hell did that even mean? The answer was obvious, child's play, and when Ami figured it out seconds later, she actually laughed. Not a hard laugh, not even a long one, just a laugh and nothing more.

"That is a really weird way of putting it, Leona."

Whatever. Leona was always kind of weird. A magician, apparently. All the magicians Ami knew were all pale, all weird. It must come naturally. She seemed nice back home. Unfortunately, Leona fell into the same pithole as Deanna. Not enough spine to go up and talk to her.

Again, that was then. Leona was no friend of hers. But she took it all in good faith and smiled, faintly, not boldly. The laugh didn't force Ami to drop her guard, but it was enough to dispel her inexplicable anger, the hate of the word 'friend' and the spite directed at nobody but herself.

Joe was kind of weird too, though more in a shy sort of way. Ami barely knew anything about him, other than the math class. Kind of a shaky guy. Nervous. It reminded her of when she was in middle school.

Ami never pictured him as a killer and, if his response was any indication, she wasn't totally off base. Ami heard the tone of voice, the glimmer of a sneer, even in the approaching darkness. The laughter bubbled inside of her belly but she stopped smiling when she remembered what he said.

No real answer.

"... You know, I honestly thought I had an answer? I was pretty confident about it. It might have worked, too."

Ami was blunted by the fact that she had no cigarettes. She went through ten in about a third as many hours. She was going to kill herself. Only then, during a conversation with two other cold-blooded killers, did Ami realized she really, really wanted a smoke. Depended on it. Deanna's tasted like honey and they didn't make Ami want to hack a lung. But Deanna only left her one and she wasted it.

So in their absence, Ami played pretend. She placed left index and middle finger against her lips, causing the sleeve of her shirt to droop. Her right sleeve was rolled up to the point that it bulged around her shoulder.

She did that in order to hide the speck of blood on the cuff.

"But then someone somebody shot themselves." Ami continued. "Right in front of me, too. He didn't die, though, so I had to put him down. It's what he wanted."

She frowned. Her lips were soft against her fingers.. Half a bottle of chapstick can do that.

"... You're right. I didn't need to kill him. But it was either that or letting him suffer. I... I couldn't just walk away, you know?"
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