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Prepare to Burn; open
Topic Started: Aug 13 2016, 07:19 PM (1,745 Views)
Grim Wolf
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The Very Best
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Silence. No answer to her question. Just the two of them, rattling like ghosts around the storehouse.

And a growing sense that she was not going to find what she was looking for.

It shouldn't have been this hard (that's what she said). This was a storehouse: if there were tools to find, she would have found them by now. She was beginning to feel frenzied, an anxious itch in her skin. Dying happy, ha. Not much chance of that, was there? Look how it was going so far. How everything conspired against her.

No, not everything. Everyone.

She sighed and shook her head, rattling through the shelves, hands trailing over clothes and goods. She knocked some down in frustration, then shook her head again. "Stupid," she grunted, rifling through the fallen goods, putting everything back on the shelves until all she was holding was a ball of damp string and a can of old Crisco. "Cris," she started. "I don't think-"

Footsteps in the dark. Tara tensed, mind filled with visions of some horror with a gun or knife, some Maxwell Lombardi or Hansel hunting already, and she flinched backwards and dropped the stuff in her hands and-

"Cristo?"

"Wha-Abby?"


The joy in Cris' voice. So different from the disenchanted, uncomfortable boy she'd been talking to. She smiled slightly. Sounded important. Sounded like a way for him to die happy, even as she spiraled.

She picked up the can and the ball of string, and slipped them into her bag. She slipped through the aisles and back towards the door of the storehouse.

No need for her, in this scene. Best to let him find his piece of happiness, far away from her.

(Tara Behzad continued in The World Turned Upside Down)
Edited by Grim Wolf, Aug 30 2016, 11:35 AM.
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Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

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Emprexx Plush
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Cristo seemed a little distracted, but that wasn't what was important. He seemed happy, actually happy, to see her. In this crazy place, that was more than she was expecting. She grinned wider and launched herself at him. "Cristo!" It took restraint not to bowl him over when she finally thudded into him and wrapped her arms around him. "You're okay," she said with a tight squeeze...followed by a worried look. "Right? They didn't hurt you?" She'd assumed, but maybe he wasn't. Something terrible could have happened and here she was grinning like a madwoman and threatening to cuddle him in half. Still...he looked okay. That was worth something. It could still be alright.

Someone had been in there with them, but it looked like they'd vanished. There'd been another voice and Cristo had been looking their way, so she wasn't just imagining things, but there wasn't so much as a shadow of them about. Maybe they'd moved on elsewhere, or maybe they just went somewhere else in storage. Cristo didn't seem worried about them, so she didn't give it much thought. She was just overjoyed to have found him so quickly and needed to make sure he was okay. Finding him alone was worth being thankful for, but if he was fine so far, that'd be a near miracle in her book.
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Any reply Cristóbal might have had was cut off by Abby closing the distance between them and proceeding to crush all the air out of his lungs. He couldn't say he particularly minded; he was, in fact, hugging her back just as tightly.

"Yeah, I'm-" Fine? Was he fine, really? Could anyone truthfully say they were fine and everything was alright here?

Probably not. But whether it was objectively truthful or not didn't matter.

"I'm fine. As long as you are too." There was more to say but he didn't know how. A conversation for another time, then, when they were less disoriented and frightened, when emotions weren't running so high and people could say anything that they didn't quite mean.

Cristo moved back from Abby just a step to look at Tara, but she'd gone. She must have not wanted to impose on their reunion, or maybe she thought Abby might be threatening, mind-boggling as that was. Either way, she'd slipped off silently when he wasn't paying attention.

"Um- Tara was here, but it looks like she left. She was looking for supplies." Enough of an explanation to hopefully put Abby at ease and reassure her that neither of them had been in danger, if they could truly be said to ever not be in danger while they were in this madhouse.
"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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((Kimiko Kao continued from Exhausted))

Casing a building was a weird feeling. It was also fruitless in this case as Kimiko found out since the warehouse had no windows. She didn't like the idea of going into the building without knowing what was inside, but if there were any useful supplies inside she would kick herself if she didn't at least check. As she was about the head back to the entrance of the warehouse she heard the door swing open. Kimiko froze where she was stood and waited. Luckily for her whoever it was didn't go around her side of the warehouse, sighing with relief Kimiko slipped the glass shard back into her pocket.

Approaching the door Kimiko waited and listened for any sound inside. She couldn't make out if anyone was talking inside. The door itself was doing a good job of blocking any sound. Sighing again Kimiko slowly and as quietly as she could tried to push the door open. Instead of a helpful silent opening, the door made a shrill metallic screech. Kimiko instinctively froze, heart beating fast.

That was not the quiet or subtle entrance she had wanted.
Forrest Quin - At the Zoo
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"I'm okay," she replied quietly before reluctantly letting him go. That wasn't true, but it seemed important to him to pretend it was. It wasn't the first time she'd told that particular lie, and it wasn't going to be the last. Scratch that. Here, it just might be. Maybe it'd be for the best to be honest one way or the other, just for one last chance to be herself. It seemed important to Cristo that they were okay, though. She could pretend if it helped him.

There had been someone else here. She knew she'd heard another voice, but maybe they were scared off by more company. Her brow furrowed with concern at that. Abby wasn't exactly intimidating. A dozen dark possibilities for why someone might want Cristo alone here paraded through her mind, but she quickly shook them away. It wouldn't be right to think that about another person without hard proof. Smart, maybe, but not right, and right was more important in the end. "Being around people right now might be...hard, for some folks," she offered. She was about to follow up on that thought when she heard a door squeal open and froze.

Someone was coming in. Someone who hadn't said anything, or knocked, or done anything to let them know if the door hadn't done it for them. That could mean anything. Somebody who didn't know anyone was here. Somebody who didn't want to scare anyone. Somebody who just wanted to pass through without anyone noticing. Sure, could be any of those things. Or something much worse. The uneasy thought drove her to slip up beside Cristo and wrapped herself around his arm. Maybe protectively, maybe seeking protection, maybe both. She wasn't quite sure herself.

Abby was trying real, real hard to believe the best in everyone right now. But with all these shady appearances and disappearances, they weren't making it easy on her.
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Cristóbal jumped slightly when the door opened again, heralded by the screech of metal. Light from outside sliced through the dimness again, and he squinted in its direction, trying to make out the figure hesitating by the entrance. "Tara?" The silhouette wasn't right for Tara, but it felt appropriate to ask anyway. Even if it also sort of felt like he was a dumb kid in a horror movie, calling out for someone familiar while a monster bore down on him.

Cristo rested his hand on Abby's arm and swallowed, trying to push those thoughts away. There were no monsters here besides the people who had left them in this place.

"Um..." he began again when the figure in the door didn't call out a response. "We're not going to hurt you. Say something, please." He wondered if he should go for the spear he'd left on the floor a few steps behind.

He wondered if it would make him feel better or worse to hold a weapon in his hands when he'd never done so before. He couldn't decide which one was a more desirable outcome.
"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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She had taken out the glass shard as soon as the door had announced her presence. It was a defence in case her loud arrival had caused someone to attack her. Instead what she got were two voices she half-recognised. Abby and Cristóbal weren't bad people. If Kimiko was ranking people based on their potential for good or evil they'd both lean to the good side. That was in their world back at school however, now there was a lot more she needed to consider.

Being asked to identify herself by voice was a cruel irony. There was no way she could carry out the request. Instead she had to find some way to communicate that she didn't mean harm without using any words and in the dark. That was a big ask.

What made things worse was she had no idea what she wanted to say. Her plan had been to go in, get supplies and leave. That wasn't going to happen. Not when she was sharing the warehouse with two people who potentially considered her a threat and when you took the whole conceit of the game into account things added up to be problematic if she didn't give a satisfactory answer. Which led her back to the original problem; that she couldn't fulfill the request to speak.

Kimiko stowed the glass shard in her pocket. She didn't think having a visible weapon was a good idea. Onto the problem of announcing her presence; she had a flashlight. That was the only thing she could thing of that would be helpful. She took her bag off her shoulder while at the same time lightly tapping on a shelf with the knuckles of her free hand. She thought maybe sound that was coming from a consistent position would at least let them know she wasn't trying to creep up on them.

Eventually she fished the flashlight out of her bag and turned it on, making it sure it wasn't pointing at Abby and Cristóbal, she then slowly turned it over to her own face making sure it was held out to the side. There was no way not to light herself eerily but she could try. The she slowly placed the flashlight on the shelf next to her, making sure it pointed towards Abby and Cristóbal.

During all of this her free hand had gone back to the glass shard, holding it within her pocket.

She waited for their reaction.
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It was like something out of a horror movie. Utter silence, other than creaking and tapping. She half expected a man in a hockey mask with a hook for a hand to come barreling around the corner, or appear behind them. That would almost be a relief; this could just be some twisted dream.

The light clicked on and she jumped next to Cristo. Once she'd adjusted though..."Kimiko!" All the tension faded out of her with a nervous laugh and a squeeze of Cristo's arm. "Good Lord, girl, you gave me such a fright!" It was just Kimiko. Kimiko wouldn't hurt them, she was nice enough from everything Abby had heard. Now, communication was gonna be a real problem, but...well, they could deal with that. Inconvenience was better than danger. She let go of Cristo and started peeking towards the shelves. "Hey, Cristo, did you see anything in here she could write with? It'd make this a lot easier."
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Cristo let out a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding, some of the tension easing from him as Kimiko revealed herself and Abby squeezed his arm reassuringly. His relief was quickly followed by a trickle of embarrassment; calling out to the mute girl to identify herself verbally was the kind of faux pas that would have left him socially paralyzed for a good while back home. It still tried to, the instinctive urge to retreat welling up, but Abby was talking to him, drawing him back into interaction, and he swallowed the embarrassed lump in his throat and tried to focus on her.

"I didn't see anything that looked like stationery, no. It's mostly toiletries and some tools here and there, but everything is labeled so we can keep looking...?"

Truth be told, Cristóbal was starting to tire of the warehouse and inching around in the dark, but he could weather it for a while longer if he needed to. Abby needed him to be strong. She hadn't said as much, but they'd known each other long enough that he could tell. He gave her arm a gentle squeeze in response and looked back to Kimiko to see if she could indicate whether she wanted to stay and search for something to write with.
"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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The grip on her glass shard loosened and eventually fell away. They weren't a threat to her. Taking the flashlight in her other hand she moved around the shelves and into clearer view of Abby and Cristóbal. She nodded in agreement with the idea of finding something to write with. That was an idea that was useful, easier communication given her condition was a must. A pen and paper while not much use over a distance would be good for up close and personal discussion. In Kimiko's mind the idea of finding a form of universal communication was worth any of the time she spent looking.

Kimiko nodded at Cristo's suggestion, as she did so she moved the flashlight to look at the contents of some of the shelves, he was right. It was mostly toiletries or general supplies that must have been needed to keep the staffs’ residences stocked when the asylum had been in operation. As she ran her flashlight over the entire warehouse Kimiko realised her chances of finding anything to write with were slim. Disappointment started to seep into her mind, she knew it had been a long-shot but the hope had still existed within her that she would find something.

One deep breath later and Kimiko had turned back to the other two occupants of the warehouse. The thumb and index finger of her right hand rubbed either side of her philtrum as she thought about the best way to mime her question. Eventually she settled for tapping her wrist like she would a watch and pointing at Cristo and Abby before gesturing around the whole warehouse, hoping they were able to figure out her meaning.

How long have you been here?

If not she would just have to try again or move on. For now, though Kimiko was happy to wait for their response, the atmosphere in the warehouse seemed safe.
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It took a few moments for Cristóbal to decipher the meaning of Kimiko's gestures, and he felt the familiar flush of embarrassment at misunderstanding people creep up his neck again. Kimiko probably couldn't tell though, and she was being patient with them, so he just rushed into a reply instead of apologizing.

"I woke up here a little while ago. Tara... Behzad, I think? She came in and looked around for a while, and then left when Abby showed up. You're the first person we've seen since then." He wondered if Kimiko had seen anyone besides them yet. She seemed on edge, but not panicked. That was good. Cristo wasn't sure what he'd be able to do if confronted with a panicking person. Kimiko had a good head on her shoulders, though, and little by little the remaining tension was ebbing out of him.

"I'll take one last look around the back for anything like writing supplies," he decided out loud. "Then I think it would be best to leave and look somewhere else. If you want to come along with us of course, Kimiko." Bolstered by the thought of leaving this dreary place soon and with friendly people around, he turned and made his way back among the shelves for a final sweep.
"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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The information Cristóbal offered about who they had seen was good. They didn't seem to be in a high traffic area, which didn't surprise Kimiko. The warehouse while potentially useful probably put people off by only having one way in or out, combined with the lack of light and it wasn't an enticing place.

Kimiko nodded at Cristo's statement of what he planned to do, but didn't comment further upon his offer to join the two. She didn't know if that was what she wanted. Being in a group was good for safety on the face of it, but what if the stress of the situation got to Cristo or Abby and they killed her while she was sleeping? She knew it wasn't paranoia talking because the video they had been shown specifically hammered home that trust only got you so far.

A nervous pit opened in Kimiko's stomach as she shone the flashlight over some of the shelves. Despite wanting a plan ever since she had woken up and encountered Sandra, Kimiko was no closer to forming one. Half-ideas, only being able to be called ideas because they existed floated around in her head but offered no solid grounding in any merit. Just like her meeting with Sandra, Kimiko found herself agreeing with the idea of working together but being unable to commit herself to it.

Out of curiosity more than anything Kimiko shone her flashlight over a bag she assumed was Cristo's. There lying with it was a spear.

The nerves Kimiko was starting to feel were amplified by the discovery. A spear was better than her glass shard and it was far and away better than her megaphone.

Quickly looking over the shelves at Cristo, Kimiko considered her options. The phrase that had been in her head just after she had woken up returned.

She was starting to get an idea of what she wanted.

Taking careful, deliberate steps so as not to alert Cristo or Abby to what she was planning. Kimiko began to position herself so she could take the spear and run.
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Nothing, nothing, and more nothing, at least as far as writing implements went. Cristo sighed. He'd been pretty sure that they wouldn't find what Kimiko was looking for here, but it was still disappointing. Maybe there was some kind of office or another supply building around though, or even a house that might have paper and pens laying around somewhere. He hadn't looked at the map they'd been given yet.

Rounding the corner of the last shelf that he had glanced over, Cristo called back to Abby and Kimiko. "Nothing here, sorry. It's probably best to look somewhere else." He retraced his steps, heading back to where he'd left his bag and the spear, intending to gather them up so that the three of them could get a move on. He missed the sunlight.
"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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Kimiko absentmindedly nodded at whatever Cristo had said while taking another look at the spear.

She thought about what her decision would mean for her life. What would happen because of it? There were so many variables to consider. Kimiko couldn't even consider them all. But it bettered her chances and she wasn't hurting anyone was she?

She felt disgust at herself for even entertaining the lie. She knew the depths humanity could sink to. Her heritage was steeped in testaments to the overwhelming evil man was capable of.

The phrase from when she woke up cycled its way back to the front of her mind.

Make your life what you want it to be now. The rest will follow.

Cristo was walking back. There wasn't much time.

Kimiko made a decision.

She grabbed the spear and turned to run.
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Something was wrong.

Cristóbal saw it in Kimiko's stance a split second before she dashed for the spear and spun to run. He saw it on Abby's face. He saw it as if from a distance as he instinctively moved to run after Kimkiko instead of just letting her go.

Of course something was wrong. Had he forgotten where they were?

Cristo could have frozen, but he didn't. This wasn't home, this wasn't school, and it was wrong. They all knew it, and something - that knowledge, baseballer instinct, who knew - spurred him forward after Kimiko. She knew it was wrong.

Maybe he thought that they could work something out. She was scared, uncertain, and they could forgive her for that if she didn't run away. Maybe that was it. Cristo wasn't sure himself, he didn't have time to think it over.

Whatever the reason, he dashed forward and grabbed her by the arm. "Wait!"
"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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