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The big tough boy on the side of right? That's me.; Private.
Topic Started: Aug 16 2014, 10:42 PM (853 Views)
NotAFlyingToy
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the bass and the tweeters make the speakers go to war
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Hansel Williams, If you've got them by the balls...))

It must've been nice, Hansel figured, to live like this.

He'd taken up shop in the bathroom of the mansion to pause, change bandages, take some time to look at himself in the mirror and prepare. The announcements had said - quite plainly - that he was going to need to fight off another person if he wanted another reward, something to keep him fighting, working.

It seemed... pointless, now, to be able to get a new firearm and food when so much else was at stake. The numbers on the island dwindled rapidly, winking out of existence with every passing day, candles snuffed out by bullets and blades and blood and screams. Young people scrambling to get footholds, any sort of leg-up over the competition, fighting for more rations, more water, more time to live. And all of it, any of it, meant nothing to Hansel.

He'd worked hard to gain his advantages, and secured his own arsenal. He had med kits to spare, energy bars that were tough to choke down, five bottles of water. The only thing - the most interesting thing - about winning the terrorist's little, sick award, was that he knew where his next nemesis was going to come from.

He didn't know Ami Flynn - had barely glanced at her while Garrett's blood had spilled over him - but he knew that he'd put her down. Not for a meatball sub, though, or a new weapon.

He'd put her down to get one number closer to getting out of this place.

The weak light of morning shone through the windows of the mansion as Hansel packed up his food, zipped Virgil's Saiga into the duffel bag, checked Chris' pistol, Cody's rifle, for any sign of damage. Satisfied, he tucked the pistol into the back of his jeans, hefted the duffel bag, and stepped towards the mansion doors and into the cool air.

Heading towards the inevitable.
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Outfoxd
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((Leona Van Kamp Continued from Layabout))))

Leona was beginning to think she was pointlessly retracing her steps, blazing a trail back through the area where the 1% flaunted what had been tossed their way whether by fortune or by effort (She was betting on the former more often than not) when the cowboy exited one of pair of estates, looking at peace with himself and exceedingly well-armed.

Seeing him and deciding she needd to handle him soner rather than later wasn't based on my need for vengeance because of the death of her assistant. There were any number of priorities that lay ahead of that. Acquiring weaponry, first off. Second, removing what she knew was an extremely dangerous elements.

Perhaps the biggest factor in her decision however, was that in coming from west end, she was well out of Hansel's peripheral. The opportunity spurred her more than anything, the chance to do it without any awareness.

Leona shoved her hands in her pockets, redirecting her course so she was more behind the cowboy. When he moved, she would move with him. She would pick her spot, and she was sure the cowboy would be more than appreciative.
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Leona Van Kamp
Current Thread: Arcadia


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NotAFlyingToy
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the bass and the tweeters make the speakers go to war
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Enjoying the sunshine was a foreign concept for Hansel, but he stopped to do it now, tilting his head back and letting the rays dance across his skin. In the back of his head, somewhere, he was dimly aware that there existed the possibility that he wouldn't feel it at one point - wouldn't be able to enjoy the little things. All it would take, after all, was one false move, and a classmate could have him taking a long, hard dirt nap.

He was far away from lying down on the beach one last time, though. He wasn't ready to start checking things off of his bucket list. He was young, capable. He'd survived a week and a half - here, on this island, surrounded by killers. He was winning the contest, beating the competition.

Now wasn't the time to quit and prepare for death.

Now was the time to prepare for life.

Opening his eyes, he turned to continue walking in the direction he'd started, and had to stop again when a sudden tension released in his foot, accompanied by a low tearing sound. Glancing downward, he muttered a short oath to see his bootlace snapped, the two pieces of twine lying half-curled on the grass on either side of his boot.

He was uncomfortable with the timing of it, the interruption of his thoughts by something so miniscule. Shifting so that he was under cover of the mansion wall to his right and a bush to his left, Hansel crouched down to tie the toe-end of the lace together, a quick fix until he could find different shoelaces.
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Outfoxd
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The cowboy dipped down partially out of view, and for a moment Leona wondered if now was her time. Maybe he had tripped, or noticed something. In any case, he looked occupied.

Still, caution. Caution would win the day. She strode closer, hoping to get a better view. Her left hand gripped tighter around the wrapped grip of her makeshift knife, in the pocket she had transferred it to. She was already forming what she would say if she was caught. She thought she saw someone she knew, or she heard a noise, something simple, something that preserved a safe image of herself.

She was so focused on covering all the angles she was not quite as attentive to the stealth part of her 'stealth' approach.
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Leona Van Kamp
Current Thread: Arcadia


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NotAFlyingToy
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the bass and the tweeters make the speakers go to war
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And she paid for it.

Hansel registered the footfalls and was turning towards the sound before he was truly aware he had heard it, before his brain caught the sound and translated it into a definition of approach. Already, his hand was a fist around the handle of the pistol - the newer of his weapons, and deceptively heavy - as he drew it from his waistband, pointing it at the newcomer's chest. His gaze was a glare, his body tense and unyielding as he squinted at her face.

Something in him didn't pull the trigger, kept the gun still, the safety on. Something in him hid his disfigured left hand behind his back, unwilling to show weakness or evidence of loss to this new potential threat. Something in him went liquid, sloshy, pouring over his feelings and steeling himself for what came next.

For what always came next.

Desperate to delay it, he pointed his scabbed chin and bruised, scarred face towards her.

"What."
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Outfoxd
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When he wheeled on her, Leona's hands came out of her pockets, free of her knife or anything threatening. That part she had rehearsed in her head on the approach, the attempt to appear harmless, a non-threat in case her plan went south. However, she didn't let her face take on the mask of someone panicked, someone terrified because they were staring death in its eyes. She was too curious for that.

The cowboy hesitated before she ever got to start her "panicked girl" act", and she was intrigued. She regarded his rough, worn body, taking in the details. This was the boy that she had to give up a good assistant for. And here he was, waiting.

Leona's need of inquiry overrode her sense of self-preservation, if only for the moment.

"You're not going to shoot?" She cocked her head. "Why?"
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Leona Van Kamp
Current Thread: Arcadia


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NotAFlyingToy
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the bass and the tweeters make the speakers go to war
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"Not a matter of won't," he replied, keeping the gun level, his claw-hand behind him still, "but it ain't a need yet."

Keeping his eyes at a squint, he let his gaze trail her body - from head to toe. She didn't look much worse for wear - reminding him of Chris, of Marcus, who had somehow avoided the amount of violence and destruction he'd barreled into since Theo's gunshot had echoed through a dense wood. It made him hate her just a little - enough to offset the constant pressure behind his breastbone.

"I remember you," Hansel said, voice normal-pitched and shaky, the facade of the deep cowboy abandoned inside the mansion.

"You left her. Tuh-hoo die."
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Outfoxd
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Not a man to mince words. Leona appreciated that. She was less appreciative of his roaming eyes. But then, she had just taken stock of him. Not to mention, he had a gun trained on her.

Leona looked at the ground at Hansel's feat for a second before looking him back in his eyes.

"Necessity of the time. She understood. One of us keeping the stage was better than both of us getting the hook."

She shifted her weight to her other foot. "What exactly decided you on...well, how you've decided to conduct yourself here?"
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Leona Van Kamp
Current Thread: Arcadia


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NotAFlyingToy
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the bass and the tweeters make the speakers go to war
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Necessity.

Right.

"Doesn't really matter, does it," he responded, sliding his claw-hand through his sweat-soaked hair, the bandage itchy against his scalp. His gun hand never wavered.

"Over a hundred puh-heeple are d-dead. You're guh-honna join them soon. What, are you looking for closure?"
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Outfoxd
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"No, I suppose it doesn't matter." Leona said. Her shoulders slouched. Her eyes followed his gnarled hand's trajectory through his hair. He was full of intent, she had to give him that. A real dedicated member of his craft. The gun was a stalwart interdictor in their conversation.

"Closure? No. No closure. I feel tha matter's fairly well closed. The book was slammed shut as soon as we all arrived here."

She hitched her thumbs back into her pockets.

"But the why, the what...everyone deserves an explanation every once in awhile. I'm just curious. In fact-" she resumed eye contact. "Maybe you owe it to me. As the progenitor of my own, more recent course of action."

Half the statement was genuine. Half of her just wanted Hansel to keep talking. Words were better than bullets. And words might lead to greater opportunities.

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Leona Van Kamp
Current Thread: Arcadia


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NotAFlyingToy
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the bass and the tweeters make the speakers go to war
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Problem there is that I duh-hon't owe you shit," came Hansel's response. The conversation was pointless, almost banal, but he indulged in it a little longer. The situation was much more like Chris, where he didn't delude himself as to the ending of this story.

This only ever ended one way.

"And I have nothing t-to do with the way you choose to guh-g-ho about your business. You chuh-hose to guh-himp her, you knew what was guh-hoing to happen. You were puh-robably counting on it."

He shook his head. "I may be a kuh-hiller, but I ain't that cold."
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Outfoxd
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Leona shrugged.

"If you're not so cold, you could prove it. Let me leave here with my life."

She made a point of looking at the gun.

"What do you have to lose? It's likely someone will do me in anyway. I'm sure you've a lot of blood on your hands. I'm offering you the opportunity to spare yourself another stain."

All she really wanted was for him to turn around, start walking away. If she learned anything from her brief time on the island, it was that lots of people just wanted to believe things would work out.

"Your call. Obviously I don't have much say in the matter either way."
Edited by Outfoxd, Aug 21 2014, 11:08 PM.
V5 Characters:

Leona Van Kamp
Current Thread: Arcadia


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NotAFlyingToy
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the bass and the tweeters make the speakers go to war
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Hansel looked at the gun, too, thought about that statement for a moment. In his entire time on the island - all eleven days of it - he'd killed nine people. Nine former classmates that he'd taken English with, eaten lunch in the same room as, ran track beside. Nine people who had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

At the end of the day, they were all scrabbling for purchase on a rocky slope, clawing and hissing and spitting as they tried to keep themselves from falling. All he'd done was use the shoulders of those nine kids to hoist himself up, grab a foothold, and hold on for dear life.

It didn't make him noble. It certainly didn't make him honorable.

But cold?

No.

He rejected that notion.

He'd never tortured, or maimed, or hurt. He'd never broken a friend's knee in order to save himself. He'd never made anyone's suffering last longer than it should have.

He'd done what he'd had to do. He'd held on.

And so, Hansel's gaze snapped back to Leona's, a frown on his face, and for just an instant his intentions were written all over it. For an instant, the mask that he'd tossed aside in favour of self honesty came snapping back, sliding over his features. In that span of a moment, Hansel became harder, tougher, a cowboy on the warpath.

He pulled the trigger.
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Outfoxd
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Carnations bloomed left-chest high on the front of her Leona's blouse, heralded by the crack of cordite. She looked down and saw the growing bouqet, just as an unfamiliar, warm sensation trickled down to her toes. For a moment she wondered when she had spilled so much blood on her shirt; she thought she had avoided the worst of it from Jenna and Tim. Then the realization that she had been shot drove her to knees.

She looked back up at Hansel. The internal hemorrhaging had crawled its way up from her punctured lung and was filling her nostrils, flooding her mouth. She spat some of it on the ground, and found herself startled at the bubbly rasp of her own breath.

I just deceive everyone around me. He deceives himself.

The thought flickered across the front of her mind as she struggled to stay conscious. The realization was simple, and it drew a choked laugh from her failing lungs. She focused on him with vision that was clouding from trauma.

"You're not better than me." She managed. The last of her strength gone, she collapsed facedown at Hansel's feet, her final bow taken.

G055 - LEONA VAN KAMP - DECEASED

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Leona Van Kamp
Current Thread: Arcadia


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NotAFlyingToy
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the bass and the tweeters make the speakers go to war
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Not better.

Hansel didn't watch the corpse fall, instead focused on the space beyond it; where the morning light, once weak and feeble, grew stronger and stronger as shadows extended, lengthening, strengthening into something that had force and thrust. He watched as Leona laid down, where she'd lie for the rest of her body's shelf life, and lowered the pistol.

The birds had been chirping when he'd left the mansion - impossibly so, but they had been. The death and destruction and screams of the ten days of violence hadn't ran them off completely, and they'd return to this place when the fighting and the dying slowed and stopped. He looked at the pistol, turned it over in his hand, felt the heat from the gunshot slowly escaping.

Like the morning light, he'd get stronger. Like the birds, he'd be able to return to the island and feel something - not desperation, not constant threat, not like he was grabbing and missing at those handholds while futilely kicking his classmates down.

When he looked back at this place, when he was stronger, he'd feel remorse and guilt and sadness, but it would be with the lens of distance and safety. He'd pray for those dead, pray harder for those that had died by his hand, but he'd move on.

He'd live rather than survive.

But there wasn't time for remorse or guilt or sadness, no time for prayers and moving on. Now, he was in the belly of the beast, and he needed to get off, get away, before he could start the healing.

"I'm alive. You're not," Hansel said to the corpse, tucking the pistol back in his belt when it was cool enough, bending down to fix his shoelace. When it was tied together, the frayed ends melted with the lighter from one of his med-kits, he pocketed the little firestarter, gathered his things. Stood.

"There's no other definition of better that matters."

((Hansel Williams, Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien))
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