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AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH; (My sister chose the name thx)(open)
Topic Started: Aug 13 2016, 05:13 PM (2,294 Views)
Grim Wolf
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
(ENTER: Alex Tarquin from Those Who Play The Most Dangerous Game)

Truth be told, Alex felt a little bit like he was going mad.

He tried to make sure there was no trace of that uncertainty on his face. He loped down the long cliffs easily enough, the ridiculous sword on his back adjusted so it didn't bang against his thighs as he ran. He made sure to keep the machete in his left hand pointed down (no running with scissors, blade pointed down! simple safety procedures in the middle of this lunatic place), and periodically adjusted his heavy bag. In fact, he allowed himself to smile slightly. Alexander David Tarquin does not fear your insane island! Alex Tarquin is confident! Alex Tarquin cracks wise in the face of danger!

Alex Tarquin feels like he is about to vomit.

Worse than any stage fright of his life. The anxiety of performance plus the drained aftertaste of an adrenaline rush testifying to the fact that he is jumping at every sound he hears. He is trying to hide that fact: when he hears something, he does not snap his head but turns it imperiously, as though surveying his domain. And as he does it, he has to fight every instinct in his body, every muscle in his neck screaming to see this potential danger sooner.

How ridiculous he must seem! Reluctant, melodramatic movements! And this outfit! Red satin shirt and designer jeans, what the hell was he thinking? This was a science trip long before it became a death trap, and he is not dressed for either one! He is in desperate need of a change of clothes. He must look the part, yes, but he must also be ready to act the part, and this outfit will not do.

There is another part to his facade, one he could never have confessed to Tara and Lizzie, though he came close when Tara hung on the cliff's edge. It is vanity. They are on camera. They will die. That has its role here: one day the whole world will watch, and Alex Tarquin cannot allow the idea that he will die ingloriously.

So. Find the right clothes. Make sure he looks the part.

He stopped at a comfortable lea, examined his map for the first time. Was this...were they in an asylum of some kind? He imagined they found that funny: a lunatic asylum host to sane students driven mad by necessity. Though it was hard to argue the possible symbolism involved. He'd have to look into that.

stupid stupid stupid this place is real you're going to die

He swallowed down that ugly thought, and headed for the main warehouse located by the docks. It took him a little time to pick his way across overgrown roads and uneven slopes, and as he drew closer he spied two figures, standing near what seemed to be the entrance to the building. He hesitated, remembering the boy from the video, remembering Mr. Graham. His confident smile flickered out. His eyes bugged wide, and his grip tightened on his machete.

no no no cameras all around you stop acting even for a moment and they will see they will know you're not larger than life you could die just like Mr. Graham just click and gone while you sleep no no no no no

A smile unfolded across his face, masking his panicked thoughts. "HELLO!" he shouted, raising his right hand in a careless wave, striding towards them as though his legs weren't shaking at the idea that there was a gun in one of their hands that they would pull and fire and he would fall just like that-
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V6 Players

Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

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Grim Wolf
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Alex's face wrinkled in distaste. "Mr. Machete?" he repeated. "We can do better for a hero name, can't we? How about Monsieur Machete? Or Machete Master?"

Good, light and breezy, effortless. A man utterly in command of his circumstances. The kind of man who could exceed this ghastly game.

"If this is a party!" he continued, closing the distant between them. "I intend to crash it."

get close to them

A whisper in the back of his head. Neither of them had shown any weapons, but if they had anything better than a sword, he'd only have a chance if he was in slashing range. To cut them open, to lay them bare, to take and live and-

No no no no no I am not that I am me I am Alexander David Tarquin I am not afraid of them they should be afraid of me!

But the scene of that boy being gunned down kept playing through his head.

"Of course," he said. "I don't think I can do that looking like a gigolo." He gestured vaguely down at his body with the blade of the machete. "I'm pretty sure I need a change of clothes. Hence my being here."

He stopped a little ways from them, some six feet. He smiled, and he thought he managed to come off as pretty disarming. "Don't suppose you lovely ladies could point the way?"
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V6 Players

Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

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Grim Wolf
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
For a moment, things were light and easy. For a moment, they were calm and casual, and Alex felt like the cool master of danger he was pretending to be.

And then.

A man emerged, hands in the air, wordless. His gesture said surrender, so why did he send a jolt of fear through Alex? Just the idea of being so surprised by the unexpected? Alex flinched, his machete jerked, his jaw clenched-

Remember. Always watching.

He turned the flinch into a casual rolling shrug, shifting his machete back to his shoulder. "Looks like we have company," he said. "No need to have your hands up, friend. Just keep a respectful distance and I think we'll all get along splendidly."
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V6 Players

Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

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Grim Wolf
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Easy enough. Almost peaceable, as things went.

He glanced at Dorothy, smiling a little. "Just Machete, hm?" he asked. "I suppose I do have an unmistakable resemblance to Danny Trejo. I think it's my dark hair and weathered features."

He glanced down at himself, then moved towards the doors to the warehouse, making sure to keep his distance from the man and the women. "If you'll pardon me!" he called over his shoulder. "I'm not dressed for this party!"

He started to push his way inside, then stopped as he saw a woman walking towards them. Wrong, somehow: slumped and strange, like she'd already been hurt.

"Are you alright!" he shouted, eyes flickering past her, looking for danger.
Edited by Grim Wolf, Aug 23 2016, 09:30 PM.
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V6 Players

Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

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Grim Wolf
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Well, alright. Not fucking around was she? Straight to the heart of the god damn matter.

Alex stared at her, his mouth slightly open, his eyes wide. That was...extreme. What had she seen?

Well. What the all had seen. A man shot dead so casually, just to prove how quick and easy it could happen to any of them.

The cameras are still rolling.

Alex dropped his machete to the ground, and spread his arms wide, as though offering her an embrace. "I don't know where we are!" he said, taking two tentative steps towards her. "But as to why?"

His voice hardened, sweeping his gaze from side to side with what he hoped was imperious confidence, so any cameras saw a man utterly in control, utterly unafraid.

"They are monsters preying on the weak," Alex said. "We will have to show them they chose the wrong prey." He took another step towards her, and offered her one of his hands. "Come on," he said. "Let's get somewhere quiet."
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V6 Players

Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

V5 Players


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Grim Wolf
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
She agreed! She actually agreed! Alex did not have to force his easy smile this time: he felt it blossom across his face almost against his will. She listened. She believed him. He played the role, and it seemed real!

For the first time, he felt like he'd actually chosen the right role for this place. For the first time since waking up in confusion (crystallized by the almost delicate gunshot that had ended Mr. Graham), he felt as though he might win through, even with this awful thing on this neck.

So, confidence suddenly restored, it was easy to laugh, both gladly and nervously. "Well, to be honest," Alex said. "I don't have much of a plan. Right now, my best hope was to change out of this-" He gestured down at his body. "And put on something that doesn't make me look like quite such a prick." He jerked a thumb back towards the door to the storehouse he'd been approaching when he'd seen her. "I believe this place might have clothes. Help me look."

He led the way back to the door, shoved it open and wrinkled his nose against the musty smell inside. That mildew stench was not exactly a good sign, but then, it wasn't like Alex had an abundance of options.

He plunged into the dark, making sure the door was open to allow sunlight inside.
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V6 Players

Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

V5 Players


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Grim Wolf
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
So they searched.

It was not an easy search, by any means. Alex had no way of knowing how long this place had been abandoned, but it had been abandoned, no question of that. Some boxes had rotted away, and patches of mold clung to shelves and walls. Alex wrinkled his nose and made a few wry comments to Sabrina, trying to settle her nerves (and, in doing so, trying to settle his nerves). He had to play the part expertly. He had to be so effortless and unconcerned with danger that no one could help but believe he was good enough to win.

Eventually, however, Sabrina managed to track down some clothes. Scrubsof several different colors in a sealed crate. He started to change at once, only to remember too late that Sabrina was present when he saw the embarassment on her face. He had been in the performer mind-set, thinking of quick changes behind the scenes where no one much cared who saw what or how much.

"Sorry," he said, grabbing his clothes and whisking them behind a convenient shelf.

When he re-emerged, he had lost his designer jeans and replaced them with scrubs. Red on the bottom, black on the top. More, he had clumsily cut apart his old jeans with the machete and fasioned some strips of denim into makeshift knee-pads, a little tight but firm in case he needed to do any crawling. Lastly, he had cut apart another red scrub top and used the fabric to fashion himself a headband. He hoped he had achieved something of a wasteland chic effect.

"Thanks," he said, smiling at Sabrina. "Now, I think I'd like to get comfortable with my weapons. Please keep back."

He stepped into a nearby aisle, a bit wider than most of the places in this storehouse. He practiced with the ridiculously tall blade first. Clumsy, too clumsy, but feel the power in those swings! If he could just learn to use it, he might cleave a man in two. Still, it was awfully slow...

By contrast, the machete was swift and felt lethal in his hand. It brought to mind visions of The Raid, and for a moment he departed the land of horror and doubt, departed from learning to use a blade to kill someone, and entered the wonderful world of make-believe violence, slashing and slicing and kicking at unseen enemies and-

The machete slipped from his hand towards the end of an enthusiastic combo. The flat of the blade bounced off of his boot and slid rattling across the floor. He stared at it, and at his foot, and imagined that blade slicing open his skin to reveal a red welling of blood and meat and...and...!

He hunched over on his knees, damp with sweat, bile in his throat. He stared at that blade--that very real blade, that blade that had been given to him in the hopes that he would strike someone down with it, slice over their flesh and spill their very real blood.

For a moment, he hesitated. But what other tools did he have? What other choice, as he stood on the last stage of his life, with this collar around his neck?

He bent to pick up the machete.
Edited by Grim Wolf, Sep 23 2016, 10:01 AM.
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V6 Players

Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

V5 Players


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Grim Wolf
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
He bent to pick up the machete. He saw her, from the corner of his eye.

Ah, but those are such idiomatic phrases, in their way. Let us break them down.

"Saw." Well, what did that mean? "She registered visually." Yes, true, but the "she" is at issue. Who is "she"? Is there a "she" before the fact? Isn't there just a presence, moving from the very periphery of his gaze. So it is less "she" and more, "Something registered visually."

Now, what of "From the corner of his eye"? Technically true, perhaps, but that does not express the very peripheral nature of his awareness. He was alone, save for a presence he knew very well: then, quite suddenly, a new presence intruded. An unfamiliar presence. One he knew had not been there.

And even taking all this into account, you would be ignoring the larger context, wouldn't you? Ignoring his training, slashing his swords and imagining them wielded towards violent ends. Imagining what those weapons could do to another's flesh. Imagining what those weapons could do to his flesh.

So. "An unfamiliar presence loomed suddenly at the very fringes of his awareness, when his head was already filled with fears of violence."

That's a very different story, isn't it? A much more understandable story. Surely anyone who heard it would see that it wasn't really his fault? Surely...

Surely anyone who heard it would understand, as that woman jerked back gasping, why he had whirled around, and slashed.
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V6 Players

Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

V5 Players


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Grim Wolf
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
The blade slashed. The terrible figure, the nightmare creature with blade in hand, the gang member hunting him through apartment corridors, resolved itself into a woman, resolved itself into a small frail girl falling to the floor with the back of her clothes cut open, a wound oozing blood. And Alex stared, and his eyes were wide, and his mouth was open and

Not a hero never a hero oh God oh God oh God oh-

Gunshot. Pain.

His head exploded just and he pitched backwards. Fire in his brain, his thoughts colliding wildly in his head. Was this what it was, to be shot in the brain? Did it shatter the think skein of your consciousness and leave your mind fracturing and fragmenting as your face burned?

Is this what he deserved, for killing that nameless girl?

If this is dying, it takes an awfully long time.

It did, didn't it? But he could feel the hot blood. He could taste it, flowing down his face. His thoughts were still whirling, but he could see the dingy roof. He could see...

Fire atop his head. Fire where he'd been shot. He wasn't dead. How? How wasn't he dead? Didn't he deserve to die, for what he'd done? Didn't he? Didn't...

He'd been shot. Someone had shot him. Someone had tried to kill him. Someone had tried to remove Alexander David Tarquin from the face of the earth.

His head burned. Because he'd been shot.

He saw the man standing over the girl he'd cut down. He saw the man holding the smoking gun. He saw the man who would have been his killer. Who might still be his killer.

But he wasn't dead yet. He would not die yet.

He had landed at the end of the aisle. He rolled to one side, the crown of his head burning, out of the aisle. The fire in his head seemed to fill his veins, black out everything but this: the man who had tried to kill him was still holding the gun.

He charged into the neighboring aisle, raced down until he found the right rack, pivoted and hammered into it with one shoulder. It rattled: a another blow, and it tilted: finally, it went tumbling over, towards the man with the gun, towards the woman he'd cut down.
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V6 Players

Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

V5 Players


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Grim Wolf
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
A voice, shouting above the rumbling crash of falling pallets and the thundering hammerstrokes of a gun being fired. Loud, so much louder than Alex had imagined, so much louder than the movies had prepared him for. Here he was, with a fire in his head and in his veins, with blood on a sword he'd swung, with a man trying to shoot him. Here he was, in the heat of a moment that would not have been out of place in any movie he'd ever seen. The innocent victim: her righteous avenger.

Her remorseless killer.

But no, there was no time for these strange flashing thoughts, no time for his fear or his doubt, because the man who had tried to kill him was still firing. He could hear the gunshots: worse, he could hear the sizzling metallic sting of the bullets ricocheting nearby. He was still fighting for his life. And he was not going to die here.

He would do better than that.

Flashes of shirt and skin across from will resolved themselves as Alex hurled himself through the fallen shelves, taking two leaping strides over groaning metal and then throwing himself forwards, coming up right next to the man with the gun. His head was down, his eyes on the bullets in his hand.

The man who had tried to kill him. The man who was still trying to kill him.

Swords lost in the opening salvo. Nothing but his fists and a hundred half-remember martial arts videos and training classes and self-practice fading into a furious haze so it felt like he was wearing blinders, so it felt like all he could see was his would-be killer with the gun in his hand.

He struck in a furious flurry, getting in under the other man's guard, trying not to let that gun train on him again.
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V6 Players

Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

V5 Players


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Grim Wolf
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The gun the gun the gun!

The gun, that could snuff out his life with a single pull of the trigger. How was he not dead already? His head burned. There was blood on his face. How was he not dead? How, when he had-

When he-

The body was beneath him somewhere. He had shoved this shelf down on top of her. After her only crime had been-

No no no no no the gun the gun the gun

He lashed out, hammered one fist into his jaw, felt his teeth click satisfyingly beneath his knuckles. He didn't see the other man's legs kick out: he didn't see the gun falling like a scythe, slamming into the same aching part of his skull so fire exploded down into his temples and black stars spasmed across his eyes. He pitched backwards, cracked the back of his head. Stunning, reeling, losing his mind inside and out, but

the gun the gun the GUN!

Dizzy, half-mad, he kicked out himself, angling for the knees of the man with the gun. He stumbled to his feet, head still reeling, nausea boiling in his stomach and racing up his throat, clawing over the man in front of him.

Where was the gun? He didn't know. He could barely see. He could barely see, and that gun was somewhere, and all his muscles and all his training, all his fitness and all his special belief in his own destiny would not change the fact that one bullet could end him.

Over the shelves, running all out, trapped by the tall shelves around him, by the painful darkness on the edges of his vision, by the thought of the fallen woman he'd cut open behind him and her nameless avenger with the gun in his hand.
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V6 Players

Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

V5 Players


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Grim Wolf
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Scambling along the ground, almost crawling, like an animal. The avenger was behind him somewhere, crowing in triumph. Not a good sound. How to escape? Run in a straight line? Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid! You should-

The machete gleamed in front of him, blood along its blade. The girl's blood. The girl he'd killed. Didn't know her name. Had never seen her face. Just her moving back. Just her scream.

the man with the gun

Alex snatched up his blade, ready to turn back, ready to cut down the man whose only sin was actually acting like the kind of hero Alex had claimed to be, ready-

And as he turned, he saw her. Sabrina Luz, cowering against a wall, clinging to cover. Sabrina Luz, looking at him with confusion and terror.

They are monsters preying on the weak. We will have to show them they chose the wrong prey.

Chose the wrong prey? Here a day, and his blade had already cut open some poor girl's back, after he had promised Sabrina Luz that they would do better.

And how had he atoned for his mistake? By pushing a shelf down on her. Desecrating her.

"Do you feel lucky?" someone called, from an infinite distance away.

"No," Alex whispered, small and unsure. The hot pained haze was gone. He felt alone and young and his guilt might have drowned him except-

Except that he didn't want to die.

He took off at a run, as the gun fired like a starter's pistol. Machete and sword and hand in bag, running and running, running outside through the door he'd left open, running outside into a terribly bright day, a day that gave no indicate that the murderer Alex Tarquin had fled justice and left an innocent young woman dead behind him.

(Alex Tarquin EXIT: to now is the winter of our discontent)
Edited by Grim Wolf, Oct 2 2016, 12:46 PM.
Want to buy my book? See my short stories? Read my fanfiction? Visit my website!

V6 Players

Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

V5 Players


V4 Players
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