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The Strange Case of Nadia; (Open)
Topic Started: Aug 13 2016, 05:07 PM (1,209 Views)
Rorick Skyve
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[[Maxim Kehlenbrink - B018: Start]]

Maxim had always known fate had it out for him somehow. Whenever something would go wrong in his life, whenever he'd knock over a glass of milk, when a shower of rain got into the way of one of his rare yet beloved lone walks, when his PC froze, whenever he'd misplace the book he was currently reading, all those times had he blamed fate. And seeing as this entire ordeal was only the slightest bit more worrisome than all of those - Well, there certainly was no doubt about who he would blame this time around.

It had almost surprised him, really. Surprised him that he had initially accepted his situation without throwing a fit, a tantrum, without breaking down or beginning to cry; in short, without starting to panic. He had woken up, feeling unusually uncomfortable; not surprising, considering he had woken up on the floor. Then he had remembered, reflected on his situation, began to feel despair creep up his spine and infect his mind and then he had just - accepted it, yes. It was like he had gone through all five stages of grief at once, intertwined and mixed until they were no longer recognizable.

Facts were, he was alive, he had a noting on his person but a bag full of clothes and supplies and a bow that...he couldn't even begin to describe. He had gazed upon it earlier, when rummaging through his duffel bag. He had never held one in his hands before, played a lot of archers in games, yes. Last one was that elven Bowman from Dragon Age, god how he had loved that one - and how he wished he could have sat in front of his computer playing as him in that very moment. If only...if only he had feigned being sick, found some excuse to be able to stay behind, stay home. It was too late now, far too goddamn late.

Chances were, he was going to die if he didn't pay attention, especially with him being practically helpless, with only that accursed bow in his bag, completely scribbled over with words, unpleasant words, words that reminded him of how dreadful the English language that he so loved could be. Simply disgusting. And yet, he was going to keep it. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth or something like that. He would make the best of that abomination, to make a campfire if he had to. If only he had known how to make one of those.

The corridor he was walking down was - unsettling to say the least, if only because he was that empty. Usually, he loved empty spaces like this, being all by himself, no one to disturb him. That had obviously changed now. He had to find some people, if he liked it or not. Staying all by himself made him vulnerable, any jock armed with a pencil could have overpowered him, probably. He had to find people. Maybe even run into Cristo. Or Brendan or Al, but...yeah, Cristo was the best option. He knew what he was doing. He always did.

Wait. There, there was something, something very faint, no doubt, there were sounds coming from somewhere. No, not somewhere. They came from behind a door, the one to his left, piercing the ever dominant silence. Yes, someone was talking, someone was there and they were talking. Jesus Christ. Never, never in his life before had he considered the possibility of him being eager - no, intrigued to meet a potential stranger. And maybe, just maybe this voice belonged to someone he knew, at least a bit. Maybe. He had to go and look, take a peek at least.

Maxim held his breath. Yes, there it was, anxiousness his old friend and foe alike. All he could hope for was for it to leave him be for the moment. He inched closer towards the door, carefully taking one step after the next. Being cautious was still the best way to go about this. Yes, he did want to see who was behind that door but at the same time, he knew that anyone and anything could have potentially been behind it. Easy and slow. Deep breaths.

His hand slightly shaking, he got hold of the doorknob and turned it. The door wasn't locked - he wasn't even sure if he was supposed to be happy about it or not. He entered the room with one leg, almost being overwhelmed by a cloud of darkness at first. But then he saw the person, saw her. It was a girl, yes, without a doubt. Facing away from him, looking at something. And between them, what he had believed to be a strange light effect at first, was a pane of glass, apparently. Those were the images he saw upon entering. Yet he didn't make a sound, didn't say a word, didn't yell out or anything. He still wasn't sure. Not sure if he really wanted to go and meet that perfect stranger.
Edited by Rorick Skyve, Aug 13 2016, 06:22 PM.
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Maxim still didn't budge an inch, continuing to stand in the doorframe with one leg in the room and his head poking into the room. Whatever it was that girl was doing, she was still facing the other direction, looking up at the wall. Was she talking to herself? If so, that could imply a great many things, could mean she was trying to comfort herself, cope with the situation or she had potentially gone mad and started to soliloquize. The latter seemed a bit farfetched, but who could know? He'd keep watching her in any case, it was too early to let his own presence be known. Then again, all she had to do was turn around and she'd probably spot him.

Just then, the tension in the air was cut clear in half by yet another sound, but far less subtle than the muffled voices from earlier - a loud smashing noise, like glass shattering, coming from not all too far away. It was more than sufficient to make Maxim jump where he was standing, almost making his head collide with the door as he twitched in momentary fear.

Something had happened not too far away from him, something that clearly indicated the use of violence. What if there was fighting taking place or had just been finished? Either way, it meant someone with less than well-meaning intentions was near had maybe decided to go on a killing spree, because goddamn, anything was possible. There were two options he had, no, three options. The third one obviously being the choice of doing absolutely nothing and becoming frozen in place - clearly not what he was going to do.

No, he could either fully go into the room, risk being spotted by this girl he did not know, but potentially evade someone far more dangerous or he could turn around and keep walking down the hallway, hope to get away from any source of danger here before it reached him. Both had their merits and downsides.

Though approaching this from a logical standpoint, he quickly decided entering the room was the favorable choice. Yes, he had no idea what that girl was going to do, but at least, she looked like someone he could have fought off if he tried, with his sheer bulk alone. Of course, there was also the possibility that she was carrying a weapon far more capable of ending his life, but that was speculation and a risk he was willing to take.

He breathed in deeply, fully slipped into the room and closed the door behind him, as silently as his shaking fingers allowed him to.

When he turned to face the girl again, he noticed her turning as well. He recognized her, had seen her before - of course he had, they were fellow students, after all - but couldn't recall speaking to her, other than some long past casual exchange maybe. Either way, she was going to see him as well now, fine. Whatever she'd do, he wasn't going to -

Huh, that was weird. She had looked directly at him just now and somehow, her expression hadn't changed nor had anything about he indicated that she had taken note of him. Maybe she had tears in her eyes and couldn't see properly, since she had clearly been crying, judging from the condition of her face. No, that didn't seem right. Maxim remained standing where he was and then he realized the nature of the room.

A one-way mirror. Of course, how had he not noticed before, this was one of those rooms he could look into, while person inside couldn't see him on the other side of the glass. Now what certainly was convenient.

The girl approached another wall, no, not a wall, there was another door in that room he hadn't noticed before. It was probably one leading to the corridor he had just gone through, through a door a few steps further down the hall. What was she doing, was she not scared of whoever had caused the noises? Ah, she wasn't exiting the room. Just positioned herself next to the door. Maybe she wanted to set a trap for whoever entered?

Too many possibilities, too many possible scenarios in which he, Maxim, was screwed, to put it simply. Again, he couldn't risk letting his presence be known yet. He simply stood and watched in silence.
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The girl finally made her move, it seemed, a bold one at that. He watched as she pressed down the handle and slipped out of the room without hesitation, her own duffel bag in hand. For a second, Maxim began to ponder whether or not he had just made a mistake. It would have been easy for him to knock on the glass, alert her to his presence. Though then again, doing so would have most likely only confused her more, seeing as she couldn't have known he was behind said glass pane.

Still, she was out of his sights now. Now what? For all he knew, someone dangerous could have been walking around outside of the room he was in. Probably not the girl, she didn't seem like she had any sort of murderous or even malicious intent, not at a first glance. No, but whoever had caused the loud noise not too long ago was still somewhere near them. Whatever it was that had gotten smashed, it certainly hadn't ended up like that without someone else's influence. Again, the possibility of a short fight having taken place could not just be ruled out.

For that exact reason, he decided he wasn't going to leave this room. It was almost pitch black, he could see anyone who'd enter the room on the other side of the glass without being spotted himself and most importantly, there was no reason for anyone to come in here. Sure, he himself had done so earlier, but only because he had heard noises. He wouldn't make any noises himself, definitely not. He'd just be holding out, let some time pass, enough to be sure that there wasn't some sort of madman stalking the hallways.

However, that also meant leaving the girl to her fate, possibly ending with her running into said potential killer. If so, that'd be a burden on his conscience, no doubt. Still, that was a gamble he was willing to take. He didn't know the girl, not even her name. She had decided to leave the room on her own accord, he could not be blamed for her decision making. Yes, whatever she did or what happened to her, it was completely on her. Though he still felt a pang of guilt, several in fact, he still wasn't willing to go out there and risk his own safety in order to potentially keep this stranger away from peril. He'd stay here, stay where it was safe.

His musings were abruptly interrupted by a noise, faint noises he could not immediately identify. Something was moving near him, no doubt. Was it the girl? Most likely, but he couldn't be sure. After all-

There, closer this time, the noises were footsteps, without a doubt. He turned towards the door, his eyes still not having gotten used to the darkness. It was enough for him to notice the person that had silently entered the room though. For a moment, his heart began racing faster, all he saw was a dark shape directly in front of him, moving towards him. It would have been prudent to speak up, move or show any sort of reaction whatsoever. Maxim, however, did none of those things and simply remained standing where he was, frozen in place; the fear he had wanted to avoid getting to him finally having taking its toll.

His momentary stasis was short-lived, however, as something that was clearly not the person bumped into his chest a mere second after. Uttering a mix of a gasp and a hiss, he staggered back one two steps, almost letting go of his bag in the process. He heard the other person cursing. A feminine voice. So it was the girl, most likely.

Having regained his balance, he continued to simply stand and audibly breathe for another few seconds. He stared at the silhouette before him, still not fully capable of making out all of the girl's features. He had to say something now. He had been discovered, now he had to play the card he had been dealt.

"Hey, hey. Don't be scared, yes? I'm just hiding in here, just hiding. All fine." Maxim held up one hand, intending for it to resemble some sort of reassuring gesture. Of course, he did not consider the fact that the freshly arrived probably couldn't even really see what he was doing with all the shadows around him.
Edited by Rorick Skyve, Aug 14 2016, 01:58 PM.
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Alright, alright, at least it seemed like this girl wouldn't be a problem for the moment. She showed no signs of panicking or intending to use violence, so that was obviously good. Also, she was totally right, he had to shut his mouth. Had already made far too much noise with trying to calm her down, possibly given away their location. He had to avoid making more mistakes at all costs.

Maxim simply nodded in response, uncertain if she would even see him moving his head. Still, there was no response required from him, seeing as she had asked for him to shut his mouth. He'd be all too glad to follow that order.

Seemed like he was in luck though. This girl seemed to know what she was doing to some degree, not the hysterical type, not the overly fearful either. Rational, level-headed. The kind he would be glad to cooperate with. Granted his initial impression wasn't completely faulty and she'd show her true colors later, but that was just an 'if', and ifs were irrelevant as of now.

Another good question on her part. He shook his head again, but feared she might not have seen it in all the darkness either, so he inched a little closer and whispered to her. "No, I don't. None I can use, at least." Sad, but true. That goddamn bow. He would have preferred something as crude as a screwdriver over that. Still, he would have to be prepared somehow, in case someone with murderous intentions showed up.

"What about you?"
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No weapon on her either, that made two of them. Granted she was telling the truth and didn't plan to gut him once he let his guard down. That was unlikely though, almost ridiculous. So all they could for the moment was wait, wait and s-

There it was again, that horrible creaking, announcing yet another unwanted visitor. Maxim tensed up, clutching his bag even tighter. He took another step back, his eyes gazing at the small gap of light that grew bigger as the door opened up. If he was really, really unlucky, this could be it. If whoever was entering the room had both a somewhat decent weapon or tool on him and malicious intent at that, there was little he could do. A small part of his mind was ready to say goodbye to the world, though the rest stubbornly held onto it. He wasn't giving up. He'd defend his life with his bare hands if he had to, no matter how bad the odds were looking.

The girl said something, took the initiative. Reasonable. Maybe it would have an effect, maybe not. Maybe it wouldn't be necessary at all. He himself did nothing of any sort, just remained standing where he was. Once again.
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Jasmine, that name did ring a bell. No one he was too familiar with, or even familiar at all, but he had a face to associate with that name, granted he couldn't see much of her face in that moment.

He audibly breathed out, had been holding his breath for far too long now. She probably meant no trouble, not from what she seemed like, on first glance. Still, looks were deceiving, especially when the person in question was half covered in shadows. No reason to let his guard down yet. Maybe there were more with her, others that were staying behind, hiding or something like that. He had to consider every possibility.

Maxim moved forward, now standing next to Nadia, his bag in one hand. He thought about pretending to be armed, drive her away, maybe scare her. But that would have been more counterproductive than anything, make Jasmine run away and tell others about the 'dangerous, armed, tall German'. Yikes, now there was a cliché.

No, he'd instead ask the only logical thing that was important at the moment. Maybe it would clear things up, maybe not. Maybe it would produce more questions. Either way, it had to be asked. There was enough time for introductions later.

"You heard that loud noise from not too long ago too, right? Do you maybe know what caused it?" He was panting a bit, much to his chagrin. All that stress, it was starting to get to him. Not the best of times for that.

He exhaled again, then tilted his head to the side. "Did you cause it?"
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Maxim licked his lips. If what Jasime said was true, there was at least one other person nearby, the possibility of a fight having taken place was not out of question yet. Damn.

Unless of course, she had just lied to them. Did she have a reason to, though? Not unless she had caused somebody harm herself and was trying to cover it up now. Again, only an eventuality. He wasn't even sure if he preferred that to be the truth or the former possibility. Either way, he had to remain cautious. It was getting tedious, he wished he could have simply slipped away into a secure corner somewhere, stay there and wait by himself. This was much more stressful He wouldn't have minded both of the girls leaving him to himself, though his common sense told him it was still better to move in a group.

One way or another, he couldn't completely trust the new arrival yet. Nadia on the other hand, she didn't seem like trouble. Now granted his insight into human nature wasn't the best one, but still, he had a hunch. He'd focus his suspicion on Jasmine for now. Hopefully he wasn't going to regret this.

"Also, are you armed? With a weapon you know how to use?"

He wasn't going to tell her that both he and Nadia were lacking such a weapon, too early to lift the lid on that. Jasmine was free to think of them as potential threats. Maybe that would even prove to be useful.
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Knuckle things. Did she mean gloves? No, probably not, that description was far too inconvenient to describe gloves. What else was there? Knuckles, knuckles - brass knuckles, right. Something to fortify punches with. Certainly nothing he needed to be afraid of. Granted Jasmine was telling the truth, he was safe, at least for now. She didn't sound like she was lying. So maybe his fears had been unfounded after all. Giving her the benefit of the doubt was a luxury, but one he was willing to afford. For now.

He opened his mouth to say something else, but was interrupted by Nadia. If he read her statement right, she was intending to leave. All by herself too, judging from the way she put it.

Maxim furrowed his brow, even more so than usual. He had to think this one through. One the one hand, these girls seemed friendly, or at least harmless. Sticking with both or either of them was an option. But really, simply because they weren't his enemies didn't mean they were his allies. So maybe staying by himself for now was the best solution after all?

Nadia certainly seemed to think so. If she was going to leave, he wasn't going to stop her. He certainly wasn't going to be the one to propose they all team up either. If they were willing to, they'd have to say so themselves. If not, tough luck.

He decided to keep quiet, save his breath for now. So he just continued standing there, watching the other two. A thought went through his head, almost in passing. If all of this was as their kidnappers had said, if there was no escape for them, then the only scenario in which he'd live was one where these two were dead. He wouldn't share this thought with them though, of course not. It alone was enough to send a shiver down his spine.
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They both made valid points, basically summing up exactly what had gone through his head seconds earlier. Safety in numbers, did that really apply here? Especially considering none of them had a suitable weapon to defend themselves with, or at least claimed that to be the case.

Given the choice between acquiring a weapon for himself - be it a gun, a knife or even a club - and teaming up with those two girls he barely knew, he'd have chosen the former any day, no doubt about it. Wouldn't that have been convenient, him seeking refuge in here and having found a firearm of some sort. Sure, he had never used one of those before, but they were a tool of deterrence at least, provided their owner with security. Even the mere thought of him having a gun in his bag would have made him feel somewhat at ease. A sure way to make sure nobody would try to bother him.

Of course, all that was mere fantasy. A welcome escape from the reality of the current situation, but a fantasy nonetheless. Again, he felt no urge whatsoever to try and convince Nadia that Jasmine was right. Ah, there it was, he had remembered her name. Nadia, of course. Had taken him a while to realize it, remember what little he knew of her.

Even so, this didn't change anything. She seemed to have made up her mind. Stubborn or savvy, whatever she was, she had made up her mind. He didn't need to convince her to stay, he didn't even want to. No, she was free to do her own thing, just as he was. Even if she'd wind up dead or worse, whatever that was. Maimed, maybe.

He winced a little, deciding to suppress those less than pleasant thoughts. Softly chewing on his lip, he continued watching. And he had to be honest with himself: Part of him was hoping that Jasmine would follow Nadia's example and leave him be as well. No, not only part of him. He was certain now, certain that he had made up his mind as well.
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Maxim almost let out a heavy sigh. Really, he definitely didn't regret letting Nadia leave now. Even in a situation such as this, where their lives were on the line, even now those two still found time to throw snarky comments at each other. Immature. Only further proving his point, he didn't need either of them or rather, he didn't need them and he didn't want to either.

He still didn't say a word even as Nadia left, instead looking down at his bag and fondling with the zipper. Had started to get somewhat thirsty. Then again, was it smart to drink in the presence of another person? Maybe they'd ask him to have some of it as well. Maybe they had already finished theirs, had it stolen or anything. Resources were always something that would only cause conflicts in a situation such as this. He had to wait.

He retracted his hand from the zipper, now staring at Jasmine. She looked angry, somewhat. Visible even in the darkness. He couldn't use that. If this was already enough to rile her up, then there was no way she'd keep her cool in more serious situations. In other words, she was useless to him. Harsh as that sounded, but it was the truth. Now, the only question remaining was whether or not she was going to leave first or if he had to do it.

Maybe he could just...scare her away? Not scare, creep her out or something like that. He had been told before he was a creep. Just standing around, being by himself. People thought so. Maybe they were morons, maybe they had a point. Either way, it could come in handy now.

Maxim simply stood there, keeping his mouth shut. All he did was stare at Jasmine with a neutral look on his face. Neutral except for that perpetual frown engraved on his brow.
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Maxim silently watched as Jasmine took off. He almost wanted to smile a little, seeing how well it had worked out for him. This entire situation could have gone south in more than a few ways, but now he was by himself again, left with nothing but his own thoughts to keep him company. Now that was a status quo he'd like to see lasting.

Still, he was now left with new choices, new possibilites. He wouldn't actively try and follow either of the girls, of course not. Still, staying inside here was not that desirable either. It was dark and secluded, yes, but as a matter of fact, people had found him in here before, so it was safe to assume others would too, eventually. And if he was unlucky, those new people would be far less benign. No, he had to move out of there, sooner or later. Maybe try and look for other supplies, weapons, anything. That would inevitably mean running into more of his peers, but that was a risk he was willing to take. He had gotten rid of those two, he could do so again.

Not immediately, he'd risk meeting Nadia or Jasmine again and being accused of stalking them. He didn't need that. He could wait a few minutes, then make his move.

Sounded like a plan. Though he still had no idea what exactly this building was or where any of the others were, where he wanted to go and how he was meant to defend himself from any potential attacks, he felt sort of confident. Even with the people watching. They could watch, they could judge. It didn't matter this time, society's standards and norms were no longer important in any way.

Felt sort of nice. Liberating, in a way. Though of course, if he had been given the choice, he'd have chosen to stay at home in retrospect. Wake up and find out it had only been a dream or something like that. Then again, had it been a dream, he'd have most likely been given a better weapon than that useless bow.

((Maxim Kehlenbrink continued in The Land Across))
Edited by Rorick Skyve, Aug 26 2016, 11:18 PM.
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