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Five Finger Death Punch; B015 - Start
Topic Started: Aug 13 2016, 05:07 PM (1,743 Views)
Deamon
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"Just remember; you could be at the science museum right now."

B015 - Travis Lynch: Start

Trav was sitting on the roof, his legs dangling over the edge. Things had certainly taking a turn. He remembered the bus and falling asleep but his morning...not so hot. He kicked his legs as he considered his options. His bag; with his number stenciled on it sat next to him. He'd looked through it a few minutes earlier, there was nothing much in it. His weapon was useful but truth be told his chances of actually using it were slim to none.

He looked down at the ground that seemed to stretch out further away from him. Waking up had been a scary moment, he had been placed next to the edge, meaning the first thing he saw was the drop to the floor below. It had certainly kicked started his adrenaline.

Now though he was just sat there, contemplating life and looking out at the horizon. Just being sappy as fuck. He grinned to himself at the joke. The moment he was enjoying was probably the most peace he'd have for the rest of his time. Just him, a slightly chilly breeze, and the view.

"I mean its not a bad view."
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dmboogie
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((Cass.))

G001. It was funny to think how just a simple combination of a letter and three numbers conveyed the end of Cass's life, topping it off with two lies just to add a petty insult to the death sentence.

Girl.

Number one.

Cass sighed, staring blankly at their bag. They couldn't afford to feel slighted. They couldn't afford to feel. For the first time in their life, they embraced their familiar, consuming numbness, embraced cold, mechanical motion. There was a stairway in front of them, so they climbed. Focused on putting one foot in front of the other, the texture of the wall as their fingers brushed against it. It'd be easy, if they could just climb it forever. No thought. No emotion. Wishful thinking.

Eventually, the stairway ran out and Cass emerged onto the roof. They did not recognize the boy sitting by the edge from behind, but he cut a striking figure, outlined against the horizon, looking out towards the rising sun. He had probably heard their approach, but Cass didn't want to ruin the pocket of tranquility he had built for himself. Still, the words he had spoken to himself as Cass had intruded felt like they needed an answer. He wasn't wrong. Under any other circumstances, Cass would be overjoyed to be here, surrounded by crumbling buildings and scenic vistas, but art was a dangerous thing to consider right now. Art, emotion, and thought were intrinsically linked.

Well, Cass was already here. You can't unring a bell. If they retreated now, they were sure that Travis would be distressed by the thought of someone sneaking around behind them. Best to lay that worry to rest.

"Yeah," Cass said.
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Cass made Trav jump. There was no hiding it. There was also no hiding from the brief panic he faced as he thought might fall off the roof. The adrenaline dump he got when he didn't helped dull the edge of his shock.

"Fuucck." Trav drew the word out before letting out a nervous laugh. "Nearly scared the life out of me." He turned to look at the person who had spoken to him. They were a slim, african-american girl on the taller side. Trav thought he recognized her from school but he wasn't sure. He didn't know her though.

He offered her a smile. He tried to make it as friendly and warm as possible.

"Glad someone else thinks so." He reached over and dragged his bag out of the way, creating a more open space on the flat platform of the roof they found themselves on. It was a silent offer. She could come and join him if she wanted, if not; he wasn't going to offended by it. It was probably the smarter move considering their circumstances.

Trav stayed sitting where he was but turned his head back to take in the sunrise.

"I'm imprinting this one in my memory."
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dmboogie
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That was frighteningly close. Even though they hadn't exactly tried to hide their presence, Travis hadn't noticed Cass until they had spoken up. Having been on the receiving end of that scenario more than often enough, Cass could emphasize.

All it meant was that speaking had been a mistake, though. Cass could have left like a ghost without ever having had disturbed Travis, but instead they had almost scared the poor boy straight off the edge of the building. Cass hadn't been awake for ten minutes and they had already almost killed a man through sheer carelessness. Stupid. Unforgivable.

He didn't seem to mind so much, though. "Sorry about that," Cass said, awkwardly rubbing the back of their neck. Now that they had a clear look at Travis's face, he still didn't ring a bell. A schoolmate, obviously, but he meant nothing more. He seemed to be inviting Cass to stay, strangely enough.

They almost refused based just on instinct, every inch of their body screaming for them to just leave, now, don't make things worse, don't presume that you matter to someone you've never met before. Just keep walking. Just stop thinking.

What happened after that, though? Would Cass run from everyone they saw for the rest of their pitiful existence? Spend the rest of their life walking blindly until they finally stumbled from the top of a treacherous cliff and saved everyone the effort of finishing them off? There was no future, there.

So Cass forced themselves to stay. Forced themselves to carefully settle down next to Travis, making sure not to jostle him and avoid slipping, themself. They watched the sunrise together. Cass nodded at his comment. "Yeah. Wish I could paint this." The terrorists had taken Cass's sketchpad. A minor offense in the grand scheme of things, but it somehow stung the most. Maybe everything else was still too big to register clearly.

Silence, for a while. Cass was never typically one to break it, but right now, it felt like the only thing to do. "I'm Cass, by the way."
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"Trav."

He was glad she joined him. He wasn't sure why. Maybe it was the companionship. The knowledge that he could share what he was seeing with someone else. He was a social creature after all.

"I'm sure it would have been a great painting." Eventually the sun finished it's ascent and with it the time capsule the two seemed to be caught in ended; with a sigh Trav laid down on his back, turning his head to face the girl, taking in her features. They were sharp but her round eyes made her seem friendly enough. He turned his head back to the sky, the image of Mr. Graham getting shot flashed in his mind, followed by the video. Trav absently tapped his collar with one hand. The coldness of it would have been a good metaphor but Trav wasn't able to come up with one smart enough.

Instead he decided to enjoy the company he was being given.

"What's your plan Cass?"
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dmboogie
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"Dunno."

They were acquainted now, at least. Trav laid down, and after a few moments of hesitation, Cass followed suit. It seemed a bit too casual, too unguarded, but Cass had already fought against their natural defenses tooth and nail just to get this far. Besides, out of context, there was something romantic about two near-strangers, thrown into hell together but still taking the time to breath to talk and watch the sunrise together. It was easy to rest your eyes on the blue sky above, clearer than it was at home. Let your mind wander, pretend you were safe.

It couldn't have lasted forever, but Cass wished that Trav could have waited longer to bring them back down to reality. Their transient peace hadn't been worthless; their numbness had faded away, but their mind-numbing terror and sorrow hadn't come back to replace it. Maybe it was the presence of another person, maybe it was the time and distance from their initial shock, but Cass felt like it was safe to exist now, however passively.

"Lay here until I die or I can think of a good reason to leave, I guess," Cass said. Planning to survive meant making a conscious choice to consider that your life alone was the most valuable, that you deserved to live more than any other person on the island. Cass didn't, plain and simple.
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"Well, I can't think of a good reason to leave." Trav said with a grin.

He was watching the clouds move overhead, drifting over the two of them. The irony of everything around them being so peaceful considering what was to come wasn't lost on him. For now though he was content to let everything happen around him. The roof was their shared private haven.

Obviously it wasn't going to last, Trav knew that. He also knew that he was one of the students best prepared for a fight to the death. Sure, he didn't have any idea how to use a gun besides pointing it at someone and pulling the trigger. Hand to hand fighting though? That was a different story, it was his wheelhouse, he was tall, in shape, athletic and knew how to put those physical gifts to good use. Being able to put that in action against someone he knew and had gone to school with? That was another question altogether, but if someone pushed him Trav would push back. Only if he was pushed though.

"This can be our private spot. No one else allowed." He smiled again. Humour. The best defense against hopelessness.
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"Wish we could hang a sign on the door. 'Dreamers only,'" Cass said, glad that Trav hadn't called out the morbidity of their earlier 'plan'. It was a signal saying that it was alright to go back to their escapism for as long as they could, until some faceless menace came along to drag them both back into the cover of darkness and stain the ground with their blood. Maybe they'd elect to throw them off the roof, instead. It'd be quicker for everyone involved.

Thinking about the end of escapism defeated the entire purpose of escapism, so Cass searched for anything else to occupy themselves with. The clouds above were beautiful and comforting, but you can only contemplate beauty for so long, and comfort by its very nature is not something you can focus on. Maybe when night fell Cass would be able to realize how the sky had changed, how such a short distance had changed their perspective on the infinity that stretched above them, but a cloudy blue sky looked like a cloudy blue sky, no matter where on Earth you laid your head down to rest. An idle mind couldn't help but wander towards darker places. So instead, Cass decided to focus on their new, unfamiliar companion.

"What are your dreams, Trav? What do you want out of life?" Cass asked. It was still too soon to think of their future in the past tense.
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"Ironically, I want to fight people for a living."

Trav lightly scratched behind one of his ears.

"Being an MMA fighter is the only thing I've ever wanted to do with my life. So I suppose I want to keep doing it, get to the UFC and win a world title, as generic as that sounds; on the other hand it's my dream so if people think it's dumb fuck 'em." Trav chuckled. His parents had always been supportive of him, they accepted what he wanted to do with his life and were glad he had a passion. He could tell at some points they had been unsure, but as soon as he had started amateur fights they saw his potential. He loved them for that. They came to every fight, told him they would support him as much as they could. He wasn't going to get a chance to repay that.

Pushing the dark thoughts from his mind, Trav refocused his gaze on the clouds.

"What about you Cass? What are your dreams?"
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dmboogie
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"Nothing wrong with generic. It means that a lot of people have that same dream, right? Wanting something that amazing isn't anything to be ashamed of."

Cass had never been one for most sports, but there was something about combat sports that instinctively drew their eye. Whether it was with a fencing blade or a boxing glove, it was easy to romanticise the thought of fighting with everything you got against a single opponent. They circle each other and the entire world becomes just them and their foe, each carefully, carefully watching for any sign of weakness, analyzing their style, learning their personal ticks and tells, eventually knowing them even better than they know themselves so that when the climactic moment comes and you strike the final blow victory comes so, so sweet, and if you snapped a picture of that exact moment it would probably be one of the most beautiful and human things in existence, bodies weary and damp with sweat but filled with determination that fuels them until the moment of release until it's finally over and they can collapse, secure in their victory.

Cass read a lot of fanfic, and that scenario typically ended in makeouts. They felt it rather missed the point of the whole endeavor.

"Art's all I'm good for, so going to school for that's the obvious thing to do. It'll help me build connections and a profile..." Cass trailed off. That was a plan, not a dream. "I guess what I really want out of life is to paint pretty shit and have people look at it. Maybe even like it. Make something that the world might remember, y'know?" Left unspoken was their wish to be fully accepted for who they were, the ability to live freely as themself. Trav seemed like a sweet guy, but even with all their soul-baring Cass was not willing to chance playing the Tolerance Roulette with a stranger.
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Trav contemplated what Cass had said. Even though he hardly knew her, Cass' acceptance of his dream and reassurance that there was nothing wrong with it was comforting. He didn't know why. Maybe it was because they were a stranger and they accepted it. Normally you got that sort of unquestioning faith out of friends and family, when Trav thought about it, the idea that people could just support you without knowing you was a big deal.

He could appreciate Cass' dream as well. They both shared a similar idea, except Trav's art was based around the violence he inflicted upon other people. To that end he probably considered Cass' dream a more noble effort. She wanted to make something other people could get appreciation out of. Anyone who wanted to create something for the purpose of other peoples enjoyment was alright by Trav. Maybe some people would think that the idea of making something that people remembered was a little egotistical but Trav assumed that deep down all artists were kind of in it for that part too.

"That sounds pretty cool. Art tends to be remembered for hundreds of years after all. So people would be getting enjoyment out of it even after we're gone."

Smooth Trav. Smooth.
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"Yeah. Art's pretty much the only way to really live forever, but I don't think I ever expected to get to that level of success? It's more like the principle of the thing. Like, when a couple carves their names into a tree or something, just to shout to the world, 'We were here! We existed!' Even if no one listens or cares at first, and even when anybody who could have recognized their names is gone, it's still there, y'know? Years down the line, someone might stop for a minute, and look, and wonder about who those people used to be. I mean, looking at life moment-to-moment, I make art because it's what I love to do, but the whole permanence thing still plays a part, I think? Argh, I'm rambling, sorry," Cass finished, blushing at the realization that they had monopolized the conversation.

Impending death was one hell of a social lubricant. Cass didn't usually talk this much even around people they actually knew and were comfortable with. Maybe those words had been boiling inside them for so long that, now that Cass's life had a clear end date, they had to use the first chance they had to speak, leave nothing unsaid? It was what they truly believed, after all. Art's something that can transcend millenia, something that can be admired and analyzed long after its creator has passed. When you view something old, maybe you'll feel the same feelings as the long-dead people who first saw it and argued over purpose and meaning. Maybe you'll feel something entirely new, with your life experience that is so, so far removed from the artist's or author's. Both outcomes are beautiful.

Cass knew that they would never produce a Gilgamesh, or even something akin to the subject of Ozymandias. They just weren't special enough, didn't have the drive or spark needed to live forever. All they could ever have hoped for was for even one other human being to look at their art, years down the line, and think. Maybe feel something new or even just look at the world for a slightly different way for a few minutes. It'd be an impact, however small, and it'd prove that Cass existed, that even when they were gone that their ideas and creations would not die with them, they would stay in the world for as long as there was a safe, dusty corner for them to call a home, waiting to be seen again and live. When Cass felt empty, when nothingness filled them to the brim and they felt that they didn't matter, that they barely even existed, it helped to look at their old paintings. Look at what they had birthed unto the world with countless hours of thought and concentration, wrought a living image where before there had only been blank canvas. If they hadn't stopped existing, it had to mean that Cass was real, too.

They supposed that the art they had posted online would get an increase in viewers, after the news broke out. Cass hated the idea. It wouldn't be due to any merit their art had, or any genuine admiration. All it meant was that they had died in a highly-publicized way. It wouldn't be deserved, it wouldn't be earned.

Dwelling on a future none of them would live to see could only do Cass harm, they knew. All they needed was to live in the present, to wait for Trav's response and to just continue talking as if they'd never need to stop.
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Trav laughed at Cass' embarrassment at taking over the conversation. It was just the idea of someone being so self-conscious about conversational cues despite the situation they found themselves in. In the end it probably wouldn't matter but sticking to social rules that used to exist was probably a good idea. If only to keep them from going crazy.

"Don't worry about it. I reckon someday people will stop and look. Someone will care enough or like it enough that they try to find more or find out who you were." Trav paused as he thought about how he wanted to phrase the next part. He knew what to say, it was just how to say it. "It will help someone at some stage."

Good enough he guessed.

Coughing slightly due to a dry throat Trav sat up and started looking through his bag, eventually finding a bottle of water. He took a few quick sips, and looked out over the horizon. There wasn't much he could see that was interesting. He was sitting on the most interesting thing. The asylum, a good metaphor to show what the terrorists wanted them to do. They wanted them to go crazy and kill each other. That was a better metaphor he reckoned.

"I mean I hope maybe one day someone will look at a video of my fights and be like 'This guy's technique and the way he kicks' but y'know not a big sample size." He shrugged, not sure how to continue his train of thought.
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((Min-jae Parker continued from デビュー))

Normally, when Jae was in a foul mood, he could turn to art. Whether it was just a series of quick sketches or a full painting, he could lose himself in the process of creating, channel whatever he was feeling into his tools and come out with something worthwhile, if only for the effort he'd put into it. Failing that, cooking was always relaxing and you got to eat whatever you'd produced when you were done. If neither of those outlets were available to him, he could always lock himself away in his room, turn his music up and stare at the ceiling, and drown out the outside world for an hour or two.

In the asylum, all of those things were out of the realm of possibility, so Jae had to turn to his fourth-favorite pastime: complaining.

"Fucking stairs," he grunted as he followed Vanessa up. "We are the species that invented space travel and a smallpox vaccine and microwave burritos, why the hell haven't we figured out a better alternative to stairs yet? Like, besides escalators and elevators. I wouldn't trust either of those things in this shithole." There didn't appear to be any in the parts of the building that they'd seen so far, but Jae filed it away in his mind that any elevator they encountered was probably as good as a death trap, given the condition of the place.

He and Vanessa had decided the first order of business was to get a good look at wherever they were, and that meant heading up and out. They'd found the stairs leading up, but it remained to be seen whether they would lead out. Vanessa had gone first, since she had reasonable command of both her legs and would be less likely to fall and harder to push off-balance as a result. Jae losing his footing and falling would mean disaster for both of them if he was in front.

The makeshift splint they'd gotten together for his leg was working well so far, no signs of coming apart, but it was still slowing him down considerably and the painkillers hadn't quite kicked in. Jae figured that his grumpiness could be excused, given all that he'd been through today. Vanessa didn't seem to care about his complaining, or at least hadn't gotten irritated enough yet to tell him to shut the fuck up.

He was a few steps down, so there was no danger of running into her when she stopped to wrestle with the door they came to. "What's up? We find a way out?" Belatedly, he realized that there were voices from somewhere on the other side of the door and that maybe it would be smarter for them to keep quiet.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Slam
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((Vanessa Stone continued from デビュー))

Vanessa was listening to Jae’s complaints with the occasional ‘mhm’ or ‘aha’ of acknowledgement, but it was about as fascinating to listening to as someone bitching about stairs could be. That, and she was still a little distracted by this whole impending death thing and the fact a harmless cafe guy had mauled half of Jae's face off.

She was glad to see that Jae’s brace hadn’t fallen apart so far, though. The thought of him falling over being unable to carry himself anymore, meaning that she’d have to drag him along, was one of the last things she wanted to have to deal with. Well, that or getting murdered; that was undesirable too.

When they finally came to the door at the top of the stairs, she paused with her hand on the handle. “Shush.” She muttered in response to Jae, trying to make out the voices on the other side. No such luck.

Eh, fuck it.

Opening the door, she spotted Cass and Trav enjoying each other’s company at the edge of the roof. Neither of them known to her, personally; she knew them from around the school, familiar faces from the hall, but not people who hung out in her cliques. More importantly, neither of them were Cams, so that sucked.

Still, Jae’d made the effort to climb up the stairs and they were here now, so if nothing else she might as well say hey. Hell, maybe one of them had ran into her BFF so far and could give her pointers?

“Yo guys! Sup?”
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