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The Cuckoo's Calling; not the reference i was attempting to make, but the thread's open
Topic Started: Aug 26 2016, 10:40 PM (828 Views)
Namira
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Null sheen.
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Toby wasn't sure whether she was going to puke, scream, cry, or some horrific combination of all three.

What she wanted to do was break something. Unreality was starting to sink in, and she needed something, anything to centre herself again.

Trouble was, Toby wasn't sure this was a reality she could handle facing. It was all that she could do not to smash her head against the nearest wall. The moment she started to think, the moment panic began to set in. She was going to die. And when she died, what the hell would happen to her family? Gill, Bernt, JP - her mom and dad wouldn't be able to look after them by themselves. And what about her mom? She was in no condition to be doing anything strenuous either. What would it do to her for Toby to be missing, and then wind up turning up dead?

With chilling certainty, Toby knew that this was one huge sinking ship. She would go down, and her family would go down with her.

She really was going to puke.

Toby's vision spun dizzily, and she had to put her hand on the wall not to fall, slumping, stumbling.

And then she started to choke up what little she'd eaten over the past couple days.
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Namira
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Hey at least she was purging whatever remained from the terrorists' gases out of her system.

Worst silver lining in known history.

But hey, when you were doubled over in some unknown room in some unknown building with an 100-person death warrant out on your head, you really had to take what you could get. In this instance, that was depressingly little.

And then a noise - not a noise, a voice.

Toby snapped upright, immediately on the defence, both fists up and on guard. Taller girl - not one she recognised right away, so a junior probably. It took a second longer to process what had actually been said, and Toby felt a momentary flush of embarrassment for reacting so dramatically to someone just checking up on her. That didn't last long. She had all the reason in the world to be wary. Of course, so should the other girl, so Toby wasn't sure whether it was confidence or naivety that was encouraging the approach. Toby couldn't imagine that she'd been looking especially threatening there, puking up her guts, so maybe more the former.

"I'm fine."

Her mouth tasted of vomit.

"What do you want?"

Her fists clenched.
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Namira
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"I said I was fine, didn't I?"

Even to herself, Toby sounded more petulant than authoritative, and she had to hold herself back from wincing. Just what was she trying to prove here anyway? The chickens had already flown the coop in terms of looking vulnerable, given the state the other girl had ran across her in.

Maybe it just let her feel like she had the tiniest measure of control over the situation. A false sensation, true, but better than furious helplessness at everything that was happening.

Ugh. Petty. Petty. She was better than that. She hoped that she was better than that.

Toby didn't lower her fists, but she did do her best to relax the scowl which she knew was on her face.

"Look. Sorry. Things are just..." she shrugged. "Goes without saying really doesn't it."

Not a question.
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Namira
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Toby didn't want to be in this conversation. She didn't want to be talking to this girl. Hell, she didn't want to be in this place period, but in lieu of that, it would have been nice to not be trying to wrap her head around a person she barely recognised. She wanted-

Okay, she didn't want her friends to be here, not really. There was only so far 'we're in this together' could be spun as a positive . The fewer people Toby knew that had been on the trip, the better, so far as she was concerned. For a couple of seconds, she tried to rattle off in her head who she'd seen on the trip, or in the crowd at the briefing - who didn't share the class that was coming along on the trip. That had to narrow it down some, maybe a lot. Kaylee wasn't along, but Abby - shit, Toby had been sitting next to Travis on the bus.

Christ.

The girl was apologising too, at least up until a thud from the back. Heard that enough to know it was someone falling, and the cry of pain was a confirmation.

Toby moved quickly. Her reflexes had always been good. A little queasy still, but an upset stomach wasn't a broken leg.

Past girl one, and all the way over to girl two. Someone else she didd't know. Someone else she had no reason to trust.

"You were sneaking around. I want to know why."

Toby didn't move to pin her, but for a moment she was strongly considering it. Instead she just stood over the other girl, eyes roving, looking for weapons. If that had been an attempted ambush...

"Don't move."
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
There was a long silence. Or maybe it just felt like a long silence and Toby was imagining it.

But it felt like a long silence.

Toby scowled, leaning backwards as the girl on the floor began to talk, defending herself and then introducing herself, which was exactly what Toby didn't want her to do because that made it a hell of a lot harder to be angry and guarded about her presence there. As much as Toby wanted to be aggressive and suspicious it was just... it hurt. It clawed at her internally that it had been her first reaction to someone else showing up. To accuse, to wonder just what they were doing there. Not a sick feeling, more of a clenching, uncomfortable one, like blundering into an exam question that you hadn't studied properly.

"Of course I don't," Toby said, a little more vehemently than she intended, but one hundred percent intending on the exclusion of the first girl. Toby had no freaking clue what she was gonna do. She wasn't even certain she knew was she herself was going to do.

Joys.

"...I'm Toby. And if you didn't want to look like you were sneaking, you shouldn't have sneaked."
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Namira
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Toby shook her head slowly and folded her arms across herself.

"Nobody. Not a soul."

She looked intently inward at the unwelcome visitor, noticing but not noting that the girl who'd first stumbled upon her was in the process of leaving.

Yeah.

"I have things to do. People to see," it came out bitter. Sardonic.

She raised a hand in a facsimile of a wave. "Stay out of trouble. Stop sneaking."

Toby turned, looked after where the first girl had gone.

"Later."

((Toby continued elsewhere))
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