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Time steals us all away one day, does it not?; It robs us of the things we want to hold onto the most. (Open)
Topic Started: Aug 25 2016, 06:02 PM (835 Views)
dmboogie
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((Asha Sur could have just as easily been screaming this entire time.))

Asha honestly hadn't expected Wayne to come along with her and Dorothy, but people always had the capacity to pleasantly surprise you. Maybe he'd open up a bit now that they were away from Mr. Machete, maybe he wouldn't. Either option was fine, so long as he was comfortable. Asha was all for creating a positive atmosphere for anyone, no matter how distrustful or twitchy. Some people were just easier to work with than others.

In any case, they were fine for now. It didn't matter whether their party consisted of three demons, or two demons and an exorcist. Either way, the numbers were on happiness's side. Asha had no real destination in mind, but she didn't think it'd be good for either Wayne or Dorothy to be in a confined area right now. Open skies lead to open minds, so she gave the old asylum a wide berth. She itched to go inside it, to explore what seemed the set of a horror movie transported into the real world, but that'd just be selfish at this point. Anyways, it was definitely haunted as shit, so it'd be much more worthwhile to start any sightseeing once the sun went down.

Eventually, they reached the fence that was the only thing separating them from falling and breaking on the rocks below. A poetic way to die, but not pleasant for anyone involved, so Asha was glad the fence was in good condition. The view was goddamn gorgeous, meaning it seemed as good a place as any to stop for a while. Blue seas and skies, easy on the eyes. She twirled around and leaned against the fence, facing Dorothy and Wayne. Time to lighten the mood a little. "Y'know, before, I would've killed for a chance to explore a cool deserted island like this. I guess this really is a once in a lifetime opportunity," Asha said with a quick laugh.
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"Thaaaat's the joke!" Asha said to Wayne as she sank down against the fence, coming to rest on the ground. Not much point in trying to keep her skirt clean, really, and she could use a minute to sit down. She would've tried to keep the nominally-humor train going with a comment about her feet killing her, but it's not like walking for a while even came close to what her poor feet went through in ballet. "And I think it'd be a big knife, Dot. Machetes are supposed to like, cut through brush and stuff, right? So it's a tool you can incidentally use to kill people, not a legit weapon." Improvised weapons could never be quite as elegant as the real things.

Asha glanced at the others, then had to stifle a laugh. It looked like the three of them were posing for a photoshoot, angstily posing against the chainlink fence, gazing somberly at the ocean and contemplating. What would they all be, goth goth, pastel goth, business casual goth? Nah. No need to try to force the label. What really mattered was that they both looked like they were thinking about some serious shit.

Painting over the cracks is all well and good until the pavement shatters below your feet and you're plunged straight into hell. Asha didn't want to force anyone to talk, but keeping quiet and stewing about their future would only hurt them in the long run. She knew that everyone had to have some creeping horrors shambling through their heads right about now, and communication was a key in any relationship; even an "alliance" on death island. They could go back to making shitty puns once everyone had vented. "So. What's on your guys's minds?" Asha asked.
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Wayne didn't seem to want to talk much, but that was fine. Asha had given him a chance to speak, and pushing him any further would just be rude. If he wanted to talk later, she'd still be around, hopefully. People had to deal with that shit at their own paces, she could get that. 'Home' was honestly a topic that Asha'd prefer to avoid, herself. Sure, she was gonna die and that was all well and good and didn't bear questioning anymore, but it honestly still hurt to think about what'd happen afterwards.

Asha had it easy. In the end, if she still existed, she'd probably have some swanky afterlife to occupy herself with, or at least be able to haunt the shit outta some nerds. If she didn't exist anymore, well, that was that. Her family, though? Her friends? They'd have to live with her death for the rest of their lives. It'd destroy her mom, probably. From what Asha'd heard of her life, she'd had it rough before she made it to the US. Asha hated the thought that she'd just be another dagger stuck deep into everyone's hearts, leaving scar after scar after scar in her wake. She'd never wanted to hurt anyone.

Dorothy seemed to be thinking the same thing, poor girl. Asha wished she knew what answer to give her, so she could turn right around and say it to herself too. "Sorry, Dot, but I don't think that's a good idea. I mean, in a parallel universe where a meteor hit our bus and instantly killed us all, do you really think that our parents would want to pick through the rubble, and when they find our crispy, grotesque bodies, think to themselves 'this used to be our beloved daughter, who we sung to sleep at night and looked after our entire life'? Hell no. So this is the same thing. We're dead, every single one of us, the world's just missed the memo for a while, yeah? Forcing anyone who loved us to look at us now would just hurt them, in the end. Y'know, I always sorta wanted to be an undead." Asha's laugh sounded a lot more tired, now.

She realized that she'd fucked up, had gone too dark, too graphic, but it was too late to take any of that back. The fact that it was what she truly believed didn't mean she was free of any responsibility to cushion the blow, to try and make the truth easier and less painful for everyone to accept. Asha never thought that all it'd take was a single mention of home to make her lose face. She'd have to be much more careful in the future.
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Ha. Wayne had the right idea. The point was probably for them to not be like every other group of murderous assholes with a bone to pick, though. That'd be too pedestrian, especially when you could convince your victims to do half the work for you. Fucking hipster terrorists. It was fine that Wayne needed time to try and cope, Asha could hardly expect anyone without her own particular brand of morbidity to completely embrace nihilism only a couple hours after washing up on the shores of a nightmare.

Unfortunately, Dorothy seemed actively resistant to the idea. Asha couldn't blame her, and she definitely didn't want to try and force her to agree. Free will was what made people, well, people, for better or worse. Hopefully better. Even if people weren't fundamentally good, Asha was sure they fundamentally wanted to be. Still, though; they may never have another chance to talk. The creeping horrors of the early morning could swallow them up at any moment, and Asha wanted to at least voice her thoughts while it was still safe.

Asha got up and stood, shifting her position so she was facing both Wayne and Dorothy. She'd have to watch her words this time, avoid mentioning the swarming insects and squirming maggots that'll make their cooling corpses their homes after the end, if the terrorists didn't just burn them all until there was nothing but bones and ashes left. That's probably what would happen, Asha figured they'd want to save money instead of hiring a terror-janitor.

"Hey, Dot. You too, Wayne. Just hear me out for a minute, yeah?" Asha said, looking Dorothy in the eyes. She wasn't sure if a smile would make her upcoming speech more or less unnerving, so she went with the option that at least made her look happy. "You know how they're planning on making us do... well, all the bad shit, right?" The hacking and slashing and maiming, not to mention piercing and bludgeoning. Must be at least fifty ways to murder your friends.

"They're counting on making us desperate, by dangling just a bit of hope in front of us so we'll happily run on the murder treadmill. But what's the point of it all, really? Do any of us honestly expect to beat the, what is it, hundred-something-to-one odds of making it out alive? Do you really want to spend your last waking moments on this fuckin' beautiful planet wondering whether or not your best friend is gonna try and kill you for a bottle of water? That's bullshit, all of it." Asha grew more and more passionate as she talked, smile now almost completely genuine.

"I don't wanna live for an extra day or two if it means I can't smell the roses, or stop to make terrible puns with you guys, y'know?" Asha said, switching her focus away from her companions in order to get back to leaning against the fence and staring wistfully at the horizon. For effect. "Don't worry, I'm not trying to start like, a death cult or anything," she laughed. Asha couldn't deny she looked the part. "I just want to give people the chance to be happy in what's pretty much the worst possible situation. If you're not down, if you think I'm crazy, that's cool; I get it."

That basically summed it up. Time to see how the others took it.
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Dammit. Now Wayne was expecting something from Asha. Sure, she was glad he listened, but just getting that far had basically been the entirety of her plan. It was really more of a way of life than anything else - well, a way of death, more like. Asha knew she wasn't leader material, and even in ballet she'd always been content to stay out of the competition for the spotlight, happy to just see other people shine.

Here, Asha had managed to come up with an ideal that she wholeheartedly believed in, but she wasn't trying to be some sort of visionary. She just thought she was on to something pretty comforting, and that maybe other people needed to hear it, too. She didn't want to be responsible for anyone, that shit was scary. Even though it didn't make sense if you took her flavor of nihilism to its logical extreme - if they're all gonna die, why worry if she made a mistake and gets someone else killed, had to stare into their fading eyes as they whispered "I trusted you" if she was lucky enough to have a nightmare ever again - Asha still hated the thought of being responsible for anyone else's pain.

Dorothy's reaction simply confused Asha. Dot said she understood, but she followed that up with the complete antithesis to what Asha meant. Didn't she see that death was exactly how you kept your morals, and believing that you could live was what would cause the greatest amount of grief for yourself and everyone around her? Regardless, it was an answer that she seemed to firmly believe in, and even though it seemed alien, now, Asha respected that.

"That's fine, Dot. I'm not asking anything of you, don't worry. I'll just keep doing my thing and we can still get along, alright? 'Cause, Wayne, there's no real grand, sweeping gestures involved," Asha said, vaguely waving a hand towards the horizon for emphasis. "What it all boils down to is, when we see other people, we're gonna be nice to 'em and have a good time. That's all."
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"Dot's got it in one, Wayne. Which is good, 'cause I haven't really thought that far ahead, to be honest!" Asha shrugged. "I figure we all got people we wanna see and maybe cling to for a while, but we can't really do much about that except wander around and hope for the best."

If nothing else, she hoped to at least be able to see her fellow ballerinas one last time and joke about kicking the absolute shit out of some terrorists as some sorta badass ballet death squad. "So in the meantime, we just gotta act like decent fuckin' human beings, y'know? People are gonna be hurting bad, and the least we can do for them is stay for a while and lend an ear. Use our last days to spread as many good vibes as we can."

Asha was relieved that, in the end, she and Dorothy were basically just disagreeing over semantics. One of them had taken the road that smelled like lilacs, the other rafflesia, but they both lead to the same verdant meadow that offered a lovely view of the giant, blinking eye in the sky that'd signal the end of all things. So long as they all agreed that helping people was cool and good, they'd be fine. Asha'd rather get something done than waste time trying to convince people that 'we're all gonna die but that's alright,' after all.

"It's not gonna be easy, and I figure shit'll go south eventually, but I can jump off that flaming bridge once we get to it. I know this is what I want to spend my last days doing," Asha said. She casually stuck a hand in her pocket, fingers brushing against the taser to reassure herself it was still there. Asha still hadn't told anyone, not even Dorothy, what her weapon was.

Oh, imminent death or no, Asha would still be loath to see anyone in excruciating agony. The taser seemed the best and most non-lethal way to protect Asha and the people around her from pain, but would revealing its presence make them feel any better? She feared that if either of her companions found out, it'd immediately put a wedge between them; the armed against the the distrustful unarmed. Asha was terrified of having her friends be terrified of her; so in her pocket the taser stayed.
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Asha absently nodded at Wayne, still contemplating the problem of the taser. If they wanted to actually practice all the love and death she was preaching, it'd be best to leave soon; but she found herself strangely reluctant to be the one to take the first step, for once. It felt as if they'd taken two wrong turns towards a right, found a small pocket of the island that was untouched by time. They were alone, they were safe, they could stand against the wind and hear the ocean waves it blew below.

This pretense died as Dorothy spoke, reaffirming that even while time passed them by, it could still be claiming the ones they loved.

"I'd like to think not, but... dunno. Depends how much faith you got in our classmates, I guess," Asha said, running names and faces through her mind. She couldn't imagine any of her friends killing, or even the relative strangers she sometimes spoke to in the halls. But that was the purpose of the game, wasn't it? Showing how anyone could be reduced to a twisted husk of themselves, driven by nothing by hate and momentum, taking and taking from others just to breathe a few more pained breaths.

If the terrorists were trying to make a point about humanity, they were going about it the entirely wrong way. If you took a hammer to enough of a man's bones, he would eventually break, nothing but a crying and writhing mass of blood and flesh. Did that mean he was weak, could've survived if he'd only been a bit stronger? No. It was the same with the oh-so-fragile human psyche. No one who deserved a heart could look at kids who had been put through every kind of hell imaginable and truly blame them for whatever they had done. You couldn't just write it off as the murderous terrorists being murderous, crazy terrorists either. You didn't survive being the world's most wanted criminals for over a decade without being frighteningly sane.

No, they knew exactly what they were doing. This had to be someone's idea of entertainment, and in a way, Asha could understand that. Humans were an infinitely deep and interesting species, after all. It was fascinating to think about what makes an individual work, try to understand their hopes, their tics, their perspective on life. What they feared. Figure out what buttons to push to make them decide to bathe themselves in blood or jump off a cliff. Repeat for hundreds of other unfortunate subjects. You'd never run out of material.

That was exactly why Asha liked horror. How her comic, The Wonderful Death of Us All! had started. She had come up with a cast of characters, thought about their thoughts and tried to make them come alive inside her head, poured her heart into them. Invented an endless line of horrors and torments to parade them through. Had a blast deciding who'd die first, who'd snap under the pressure, who'd live to the end this time. Bring them all back to life for the next arc. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Kept it fun by keeping everyone cute and smiling, by prettying up and abstracting any gore.

Oh, Asha knew she wasn't the same as the people who watched SOTF. She knew there was a line. The death she created had been constrained to pixels on her screen, wrought by nothing but her stylus and tablet. She knew that horror was only wonderful when everyone was in on the joke. No one deserved to live their lives in fear. No one deserved to suffer.

Still, though. Their pastimes were all coming from the same place, the same desire to watch people unravel before their eyes.

God, she wanted to puke.

"...Let's not waste our time trying to guess. Please. It won't help anyone." Asha hoped she didn't sound as disgusted as she felt. She forced a smile, knowing it wouldn't fool anyone. "So! Got anywhere in mind for us to go next?"
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So. Not the asylum. Asha was a bit disappointed by that, but she understood. Not the way they'd came, either. Simple enough. She didn't want to leave, but staying meant doing nothing but think, and Asha'd had quite enough of wretched introspection for the time being. Much as she absently wished that someone would come along and hug her and put her thoughts at ease, that very wish was why she had to become that person for everyone else. Hiding herself away would only be selfish.

"Dunno if there's a lighthouse here, but I'm sure we can find a dark tower of some sort," Asha said, springing away from the fence. She glanced back at Dorothy and Wayne, flashed a grin, quickly enough that she didn't have to think much about it, and started walking. "Let's went."

((Asha Sur's running from the White Noise.))
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