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Good Omens
Topic Started: Sep 3 2016, 09:56 PM (699 Views)
Rorick Skyve
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((Maxim Kehlenbrink continued from The Land Across))


There were buildings up ahead, quite a few. An entire compound, really. Not exactly what he'd have considered inviting, but just about lifeless enough to make him consider the possibility of them not being 'inhabited' yet. Some of them, at least.

Maxim wiped some sweat off his brow and checked his bag to make sure nothing would fall out for the umpteenth time now. He was being paranoid, of course he was, but it was better to be safe than sorry. Or how Lenin had put it: Trust is good, control is better. Yes, he much preferred that saying, the former had always struck him as rather plump, ugly sounding really. Though fancy words weren't going to get him out of this, unfortunately.

Upon closer inspecting the compound from afar, he decided the best way to approach it was to take the way around it, alongside the exterior walls of the buildings. If he could avoid being seen, then he'd do so, no question.




He didn't know how many minutes had passed. To him, it had seemed like at least ten, though he knew it was probably far less than that. Maybe he was being too careful for his own good. If he kept moving at that speed, every possible hiding spot would be long discovered and taken by the time he reached them. Then again, as long as he remained unspotted, he had no reason to complain.

Maxim had moved around the backside of several buildings now, passed a single smaller shack or lodge of some sort on his way. He had ignored it, despite his curiosity almost getting the better of him. A small place like that stood out far too much for it to be a safe haven where nobody would find him. So he had continued his path, lurking next to those gigantic blocks of concrete, until something peculiar breached the silence and almost made him trip out of surprise.

Somewhere on that godforsaken island, bells had started to ring.
Edited by Rorick Skyve, Sep 5 2016, 04:55 AM.
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((Ben Fields continued from Rare Footage of Jerry Worried))

So much for the plan. Fucking Fury’s namesake was all in his feet. He'd jogged out of sight before Ben could even get one foot off the ground, vanished behind a couple of buildings. The sound of his sneaks had long since faded away.

That one definitely looked lame as fuck to viewers tuning in. Ol’ Spiky with the big mouth and the bigger plan couldn’t even keep his comrade in sight. Not for a lack of trying, he'd hustled off to where he logically concluded Jerry could have gone. Mossy concrete walls for his troubles. Ben should have run faster, he had the capacity for more this sad ass tween girl shuffle. But even now he seemed to prefer to mosey along instead.

In theory he’d figured he had to conserve energy. Keep hands off his rations as long as he could, keep his expenditures thrifty. He couldn’t help but think a bit off the cuff, though. Something soft and vulnerable he was trying to keep out of his brainwaves. The exposed jugular of existential bullshit.

He was making excuses.

A camera caught Ben right where the frame melted into off screen. Right when a distant tolling caught his neck stiff. It was right around the corner of this wall. The sound echoed from some other part of the island, some kinda chime like a 'roided up dinner bell. Fucking ominous sound, even sheltered behind the corner of what appeared to be a library. The noise would probably draw a lot of faces, and Ben didn’t know if those faces would be friendly. He still needed to think that one over. Fast as he could, whatever relevant conclusions he could possibly produce. If he even had any. Ben exhaled, briefly and sharply. Right. No working plan. He at least needed a place to go. His eyes traced right down the contour of the building he was flanking. No doors, only windows and the bookshelves shying away from them. Beale ripoff could be safely ignored, Ben figured. He’d need to go around.

So he got to it. Kept as aware of his surroundings as was possible, with brisk swivels of his head. Sort of thing he’d been quietly preparing for when he’d wanted to join the army. Good shit.
V7

V6 - Like you imagined when you... were young...
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Rorick Skyve
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Morning in Paris, the city awakes

To the bells of Notre Dame

The fisherman fishes, the bakerman bakes

To the bells of Notre Dame

To the big bells as loud as the thunder

To the little bells soft as a psalm

And some say the soul of the city is

The toll of the bells

The bells of Notre Dame


It was tempting, so very tempting to continue the lyrics in his head. Maxim almost caught himself humming the melody along as well. As stupid as it sounded, that little tune was actually sufficient to lift his mood by a considerable bit. He had thought of it as soon as he had heard the first ring of the bells, echoing from far away. Not just anywhere though, the sound clearly originated from where he had took off, back from the asylum, now that he listened closer. One more reason for him to be glad he had left earlier. Now people would swarm the place all the more, like vultures circling around their dying prey. Not really prey, but he couldn't think of a better term to use.

He smiled a little. There had been others in the distance, as he had crossed the bridge, as he had walked across that eerily yet almost comfortingly empty terrain. He had ignored them and they had either done so as well or simply not spotted him altogether. Either way, it worked out for him. He was still by his own, with the only person he could truly trust around here. Well...almost.

Looking to his right on the bridge earlier, he had seen nothing but ocean. Or sea, whatever hopelessly large body of water had been chosen as their prison. More like a cage, really. Speaking of cage, he had to consider trying to get into one of the many buildings around him, standing out in the open like this was bound to get him into trouble sooner or later.

Once again, he saw himself faced with a choice to make, decide where to go next. Only this time, it seemed the actual decision had to be postponed. Maxim was certain that he was making out movement, not too far away, a sort of crunchy sound, steps. Someone was on their way towards him and fast. Coming from around the corner of the building.

Maxim had almost no time to react, think about what he'd be doing. So in the old tradition of people being caught off-guard, he remained frozen on the spot, his hand tightly clutching his bag. Just in case. Maybe he'd have to try and pull a bluff, depending on who had just decided to drop in at this rather inconvenient moment.
Edited by Rorick Skyve, Sep 4 2016, 06:46 PM.
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Ben wasn't seeing any folk out on the rough, just in the clippings of his thoughts. So quiet out here a piddly little nor'easter was ringing loud in his ears. It was cool and fresh, moisture against the skin of the face. Alien as fuck, compared to the old Kingman sandblaster. Ben wanted a protective hand on the brow, just to ward off the freak sensation. But he knew better, that hand was staying right on his side. Where he could quickdraw all of the nothing he had as a weapon. Shit. He'd have to remedy that at some point. Even a blunt rock to the head was better than a fist. Though that would imply he intended to...

Hm. More thoughts to try and think in double time to his already brisk march. Whatever the answer was to the question of 'could I?'. He vaguely knew he wasn't going to like it.

...

But for now, he had nothing.

Save company. Right around the corner of the building he'd almost blustered around, he'd heard the telltale rustling of soles against earth. It had stopped, but too close for comfort. Ben dug his heel in. Stopped himself, just shy of exposing himself by maybe a foot. A hand and a shoulder barely tensed. Like he was out on the diamond again, ready to catch... a bullet? Fucks sake, Fields. Again, all the weapon he had to his name were his words. But he could start casting an eye around for a rock. Make sure he wasn't caught flat footed like he'd been when he'd had Jerry and a knife pacing his way.

A few critical moments of silence.

"It's Ben. I'm friendly." He readily left off the other obvious clause, 'I'm unarmed'. A nonexistent weapon in a bag was probably better collateral than three syllables and a breath of naivety. "Shit. We probably look like dumbasses talking and cowering two inches away from each other." He heard the swivel of a camera. It was right in his fucking ear, as if he had too much oxygen to himself and needed the viewers to siphon off the excess.
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The footsteps stopped. Whoever was there, around the corner, they obviously had a reason for stopping. Since spontaneous death was both silly and unrealistic as an option, it had to mean they had somehow noticed him as well, despite his best efforts to remain hidden. Though those efforts had only consisted of not moving for a few seconds, so this had been foreseeable, really.

Maxim could feel his heartbeat becoming more and more noticeable to him, hammering against the inner walls of his chest. This wasn't good. In the best of cases, the other person had stopped since they were afraid too, trying to hide their own presence. In the worst case, they were preparing to ambush him. Running around the corner and knocking him flat out or worse would have been sufficient for that really. Unless the other person was of small stature, he could have probably defended himself against that, tried to at least.

Just then, he heard a voice speaking and it took all but one sentence for his hopes to be torn apart violently. 'It's Ben.' Now, Maxim knew there was another Ben in school, had heard of him because of stuff relating to tabletop games. He recognized the voice though, no doubt in his mind, This was the other Ben, or rather the Ben. The one he had avoided ever since-

Maxim's first instinct was to take a step backwards, causing more rustling. Goddammit.

This boy was a homophobe, he knew that. Someone who despised him, probably regarded him as the lowest possible sort of human being. Maybe he even wanted to deny him that too, who knew what went on in that guy's head?

Whatever it was, it was bad, it had to be. Ben was probably someone who wouldn't have shed a single tear over Maxim's death. Hell, maybe he'd even be inclined to induce it himself? If he had a weapon on him, a gun, a knife, anything that was useful for killing a man, then he was as good as done for.

Maxim's hands began to tremble slightly. No, that was not how he'd go out. Not by that boy's hand, never. He started walking backwards, slowly. Running would have given him away immediately. Ben knew he was there, but he didn't know who he was, not yet. He had to try and sneak away without the other boy noticing. Count on Ben being cautious and remaining where he was for a good bit. That was his best hope of getting away, his only hope.
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Silence didn't last long.

Noises that were right in the kiddie pool levels of decibels were ringing the damn alarms in Ben's head. The arm he'd been tensing for action was suddenly braced against concrete. Cool against the skin, plastered right into it. Ben's adrenaline was almost stabbing him right in the Achilles' until he realized the noises weren't getting any closer. One step further, than another few. The corner of the wall was right the fuck there, but Ben couldn't bring himself to put even an inch of himself past it. Ben was being paranoid. A few inches on inches didn't make aiming a fucking gun any harder.

So. He had to make a call. Took him a second to fire the neurons at action-movie speeds, but he made the call. Went something like:

"Whoever you are. I get you're nervous, it's cool. Just, shit, just keep your head alright? Avoid people if you gotta but don't put a weapon their way and all." The syllables were clipped, truncated into hoarse murmurs. Barely passed for speech, but it'd do. Let every fucking kid wielding all those excellent manners Cochise had imparted on them run. Run from Ben, that was a-okay in his books. All they had to do was hear what he was saying. Hear what needed to be done. Hear it, put it right into their steps. Even as those steps carried them away as fast as steps could humanly go... '?' Addend all that bullshit with a fucking question mark.

Fucks sake. Ben got the sense that he'd need to be finding himself a weapon soon. If he doubled up, saw doubles, maybe he'd grab himself a nice rock to bash his own idiot brains out with. Had to let this other kid hightail it first though. Whoever it was could go cower uselessly somewhere else, keep themselves out of trouble.
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Maxim stopped walking backwards for a moment. His heart beat had gotten even faster or so he felt. It began to hurt, like small needles being rammed into his chest area over and over again. He wasn't used to his nor did he want to be. Ben spoke again. Damn right he was nervous. Though Ben couldn't possibly understand why, of course, unless he came looking around the corner. So he was completely fine with the other boy remaining ignorant to his plight.

A gun, what would he have given for a gun now. Not to use deadly force, of course. As a tool of prevention, to scare that son of a bitch of. Yes, it all came back now. How much he despised that boy. Even though it had been mostly his fault, all that happened on that goddamn birthday party. Still, Ben was the way he was, a fucking homophobe, scum. He deserved to be here. Maxim didn't. But since when had life ever been fair?

He started backing away again. He didn't pay any heed to what Ben was saying. Words, hollow words, they meant nothing. He didn't know it was Maxim who he was talking to. Ben would have spoken differently had he known, so none of this was relevant in any way. He could stay in that corner and speak to the wall for all eternity, for all he cared.

Another step back. He could turn around, of course. But then, he couldn't have kept an eye on that corner. Then again, if Ben did come around there and had a gun on him, he was screwed either way. But he wanted to see it, at least. If he was going to die at that boy's hands, he at least wanted to see him coming. Not from behind, not like that. So he didn't turn around.

He took another step, then another. He'd have to be able to turn another corner soon, how far could it still be? Another step, left leg, right left, le- His heel came in contact with something. Something that gave in, started twisting and - fuck, was it a twig or -

Whatever it was, it had made him loose his footing. Before he had to time to register it, his torso was falling backwards. His other leg shot up in the air instinctively and his left arm followed, while his other still held the beg tightly clutched against his lower body. The moment was over in less than a second, but Maxim felt like he was freefalling for an eternity, a sudden rush of adrenaline raced through him and all thoughts besides 'Shitshitshitshitshit' were momentarily wiped from his brain

He cried out, only briefly, but loud enough to frighten himself while he was still in the air. Then his back and bottom made contact with the ground simultaneously and he gasped sharply as the air was pressed out of his lungs.

Edited by Rorick Skyve, Sep 4 2016, 02:10 PM.
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Still more silence. Environmental sounds aplenty but they were getting further by the millisecond. Looked like Ben was the only one with anything to say. Kinda disappointing, in spite of himself and all his vaunted logic. A back to watch was always great. Keep 'em under eyes and all, if there was less chance of someone doing something they'd regret for the remainder decimal point of their life. Went both ways, since Ben also had him own back that needed watching. But this kid whoever they were just wanted to be going one way. Away. Whatever.

Ben figured he could double back and try checking one of the other buildings he'd already passed. Hell, for all he knew Jerry had somehow managed to slide into one-

What had it been, two seconds? Enough time for Ben to ramble at the wall like an asshole, and then for the other asshole to promptly fall. Flat on their asses, by the sound of it. Masculine grunt, at least by the masculine qualification of 'balls hadn't dropped yet'. Bradley? Ben didn't have time to hesitate, his ankle shot the corner and then the rest of his body followed suit in an efficiently clipped stride. He surveyed the scene as he marched forcibly into it.

Who the fuck was this kid? Looked familiar, like ancient history. Whoever this dude was, he had indeed been floored, Ben could see the offending gnarled branch twisted like licorice around the ankles. Ben moved forward, hand already extended to offer. It wobbled a bit more than Ben would have liked. Not enough soldier in his step. But however bad it looked, the other kid looked worse, needed help. Ben would be offering that help. Right now as a matter of fact.

"You alright, dude?" Ben had to stoop over a bit.
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Maxim had closed his eyes immediately upon impact. A reflex. His head felt like it was plagued by a mix of spinning and stinging ache. Being unable to see anything only made it worse, somehow. Like he didn't even have other sensations to concentrate on, only the pain; sharp goddamn pain, fuck.

What had even happened? It had went so fast, taking step after step and suddenly- right, he had to have slipped on something. Of course he had, how silly of him to assume he'd be able to make things go his way. Sadly, even cynicism wasn't enough to ease his headache in any way, let alone his spine.His eyes opened, slowly at first, then shot wide open. He remembered, goddammit. Ben was still there, he had to have heard him take that fall. He'd take advantage of it, no doubt, he'd come around the corner and-

And there he was. Maxim couldn't see it, having his eyes staring up at the not quite comforting sky, but he could hear the steps. If Ben wanted to truly end him, then there was nothing he could do about it now. It was probably the first time in all those years that Maxim wished he'd knew Ben a little better. Then maybe he'd have been able to get a better picture of his situation: For all he knew, Ben hated his sort, had a history of disdain for him and was possibly armed.

The smart thing would have been to jump to his feet, at least try and be able to defend himself if he had to. But his limbs failed him or rather, his willpower did. All he had to do was issue the command to himself. Something didn't click though. Something kept him down there, on the ground. Why, why now, why was his body acting illogical now of all times?

His heartbeat was still killing him, with how fast it was going. It only got worse now. It was too late, he had wasted too much time. He had completely failed and he was going to pay for it, god, god, he was going to-

'You alright, dude?'

What.

That sentence made no sense, not coming from Ben. It was him, undoubtedly, he recognized the voice, no way he had forgotten. Was he mocking him? Trying to toy with him? Whatever it was he was doing, he'd not give him that satisfaction. Maxim didn't even bother lifting his head to look at the other boy, instead bringing up one hand to his own forehead and clutching it. His hand was shaking. He hoped Ben didn't notice. "What are..." Even speaking hurt a little. "What do you want?" He tried not to sound aggressive, he wasn't going to lose his cool, not openly at least. Not for Ben to savor.
Edited by Rorick Skyve, Sep 4 2016, 07:27 PM.
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((TW: Homophobic Language))

His fallen comrade kept his hand to himself, right there on his forehead. There were those quality Cochise manners at work.

Odd line of questioning. 'What do you want?' didn't seem any bit conducive to an efficient rescue operation. Like refugees in the tin can chopper under flak fire asking if they were there yet, all kiddie like. Ben had to assume it was all just a consequence of the fall. After all, Maxim looked shocked. Must have been the-

Maxim. That was the name. Three years and a party with illicitly acquired drink. Localized mental trauma and a mess for the sidewalk guy to clean in the morning.

Motherfucker.

Ben wore the horrified frisson, but not for others to see. Like a steel scalpel to the base of the neck. The perv faggot ass rapist who'd nearly put Alex in Dr. Woolsey's hands. PTSD with lips instead of guns. Shit Ben had tried his hardest to forget that shit the moment it had happened. He remembered now, unfortunately all too clearly. Backhanded by the worst humanity had to offer, left with a near broken friend and a definitely broken dignity.

Still. Hand out, even if 'comrade' was no longer a comfortable means of address. Ben would rather have said 'fucker', but he didn't have to respect the dude to help him.

"Want to not be on this island, mostly, but that's a blessing God won't be granting either of us anytime soon." Ben's tone remained just on the parallel that was neutrality. Not his providence, what Maxim was and wasn't in whatever his life had been and was yet to be. Only domain Ben had was a moral compulsion. A high ground he could hold, because the high ground translated to some kinda tactical edge. "We gotta hurry up. Someone with a gun finds us like this I dunno if I can do anything to stop 'em."
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Rorick Skyve
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As soon as Ben started talking, Maxim slightly lifted his head, looked up at him, only to get a load of sarcasm into his face. Less than flattering image. It was Ben, not like there had been any doubt about it, but now he could at least see him with his own eyes. Bent over, hand still extended. He couldn't quite understand. If this was a game, then the other boy certainly did keep a stiff upper lip. Either that or he was a masterful actor.

Either way, he'd remain wary. His heart was at least going at a slower rate now, the pain subsiding. He could not see a weapon on Ben, not in his hands, not worn on his belt. Maybe hidden somewhere under his clothes? Maxim's eyes scanned the one towering over him for a second, head to toe - no, didn't seem likely, no real room for it. Maybe in his bag, but then again, he'd have no time to draw it without Maxim noticing.

Maybe he really was safe, for now. He wanted to believe it, though the fact that it was Ben of all people who he'd have to trust in made that decision infinitely harder.

Maxim put both his hands on the ground, lifting himself into a seated position. Ben's hand was still directly in front of him. He considered ignoring. Really, the last thing he wanted to do was to accept help from the likes of him. Still, it wasn't a smart move to make. It was already peculiar enough for that boy to aid him, him disgruntling Ben any further could have easily had consequences he'd rather forgo. So only one thing to do.

Maxim grit his teeth, simultaneously chewing on his lip. Then he extended his own hand to take Ben's. A shiver went through him as soon as he made contact and it was purely unpleasant. Slowly, he got to his feet, one corner of his mind still expecting Ben to conjure a dagger out of nowhere and shove it between his ribs.

Finally, he was standing again, though he immediately took another step backwards. He'd keep his distance from that one. "So you're telling´me you're unarmed then?" His tone was skeptical, estimating. Three people he ran in so far and none of them truly armed. What were the odds?

He stayed silent for a second, pondering about whether or not to say it. Doing so was practically admitting he had erred in his assessment of Ben. At least about his current intentions. Damnit. It was common courtesy, he had to do it, even when he'd have to forcibly expel the words from his throat.

"Also, thanks."
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Maxim drew up a bit. Ben startled, but not easily. Proper lights out on his paranoid spawnlings of concern, before they became anything that could chip at the old nerve. Jerry at least had been a knife. Maxim was just a stumble. Ben wouldn't let himself be the prick that burned half his brain to scar tissue over something meaningless. The kids that did allow that... someone would be along for 'em. Kids in Cochise that could be trusted. There'd been an anti-bullying committee. There'd been Jerry...

...

Man fuck that fucking plan of his.

The 'plan' hadn't even had the decency to survive contact with itself. Focus on the here and now. Ugly lip-chewing ungrateful here and now as it happened to be. Ben steeled shoulder, braced back. Maxim was up in a display of efficiency his German ass probably respected. Promptly took himself back a step, preempting Ben's intent to do the same. Great minds, or whatever. Now that each of them had plenty of personal space Ben could force his chin into a brief incline of nod. "Yeah. No weapon. Doubt you have shit yourself." Ben was eying Maxim's bag, twisted around his shoulder. Just brief glances every now and again, enough to comfortably confirm if a hand would be a finger too close to putting Ben's life in jeopardy. And whatever lives would follow such a disaster. But no, Ben was letting paranoia fry the old brains again.

"Also, thanks." Truncated to the breath. Good to see that the dude still had the same exact conversational prowess years after the fact. 'Mein gott'.

"You got it dude. Look." Ben figured he'd go for the throat here and now, while either of them still gave a shit. "I dunno what you intend to do but... We gotta keep people up before the terrorists make their calls. No deaths, and if there are any, well. We'll know who to avoid then." Man, Ben really was on a roll with these plans of his. Three seconds of noise, zero of content. About as much of a toss up of actual substance as that bag of chilies he'd tossed Jerry's way several eternities ago.
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Alright, maybe he had been wrong in his initial judgment, maybe his paranoia had been less than justified. Even so, hat boy standing in front of him, with that bag casually tossed over his shoulder, it was still Ben. Didn't look like much on the surface, but Maxim knew better, he knew about the bigot beneath all that harmless looking crust. Which made the fact that so far, he was acting the most rational and unbiased of all the people he had met even worse.

Maxim stopped with the lip-chewing, instead wiping his mouth with his palm. He really didn't want to have to trust Ben. All he had to do was excuse himself and walk away, continue looking for a hiding spot somewhere. But even then, what was his plan after that? He had limited resources, his food and water supply would run out eventually. Realistically, there probably wasn't a spot he could hide in that others wouldn't be able to find as well. And then he'd be at their mercy, with only his bare fists to defend himself, unless he was able to master archery somehow. Yes, only his fists.

His hopes of being able to hide himself away had faltered just like that. It was an ill-conceived plan, he realized that now. Then again, whatever Ben was saying right now didn't make much more sense either. Keep looking for people and rally them to not kill anybody, that was what he got from Ben's words. That was simply delusional. People would start killing each other sooner or later, it was only logical, it was in the nature of humans to tear each other apart in situations like this. Maybe he had overestimated that boy's craftiness after all.

"Well first of all, I am in the same predicament as you. I have no weapon I'd have use for on me." He raised both his arms to further illustrate his vulnerability.

"And as for your plan: I don't see it." Hopefully, it wouldn't sound more snide than he intended it to. "The more people you run into, the higher the chances of one of them attacking you. It's that simple. You don't go around actively looking for more; if anything, you try and keep your group as small as possible. More people, more distrust, more potential for danger. More potential for one of them..." He ran a single finger across his neck, his bare skin brushing his collar. Maybe a bit overly dramatic, but at the same time, it felt sort of satisfying to do so.



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Maxim's was an ugly, ominous sort of body language. Scruff of his beard poked out over his palms. Towered over him too. Overall disgusting to watch, but Ben kept his eyes charitable for reasons of survival. Kept his face squarely set, clinically dissected into dour politeness. No weapons. Probably. Ben didn't know Maxim for all of their unfortunately shared history. Didn't know if Maxim kept his words sharpened and whetted by grindstone. Didn't know if Maxim kept the innocuous bluff in his arsenal.

No reason to trust him either. Ben was tempted to take another step back, but stuck with keeping the engine purring on one heel. Leaned slightly back and away. Maybe looked a bit too defensive on his part.

"And as for your plan: I don't see it." Fuck's sake. Ben didn't need to hear it, but he was hearing it anyways. He knew it, Maxim knew it, whole damn world watching knew it. Maybe Jerry somehow managed to know it, just to drive it home. Ben's plans were shit and he'd been the asshole who'd tried to trumpet it with all valves tuned flat. He'd been about to marching band his ass across the island with that shit, no less. Ben felt the rising tension, the ironclad grip of a defensive warble. Let it go with a frustrated sigh. Ben had to let himself hear this. From Maxim.

Feeling coming on that he needed to drown himself out in another whiskey sigh, but his breath was stuck on refractory.

"Trying too hard to sell it, dude. But you've got a point and even I know that." Ben tried for the last second retaliation, but it was just half there, a last minute sputter from the lungs. "People are gonna run into people even if you're off hiding. Do their thing and all..." The pause was brief, heavy as the guns neither of them had on hand. "But I'm guessing the bottom line is you don't give a fuck, yeah?" Ben had been ready to run himself aground. Rattle the brass. All so he could be a soldier for a war no other soul would fight.

What kind of soldier put themselves on the back foot against a guy whose hands were already up in the air?
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[ *  *  * ]
It had almost slipped from his memory, the fact how much taller he was than Ben. Of course, his only memory of him had been one that was several years old, one which he had tried to repress and wipe from his mind the best he could at that. But now, now that they were both here and Ben was apparently in no position to pose an immediate threat to him, all of that now seemed so much farther in the past. Yet, Maxim would not find it in himself to ever respect that boy in front of him, he was sure of it.

And he didn't need to. It was evident Ben felt the same way about him, that was a given. Who could know, maybe he secretly wished for Maxim to die, didn't have enough guts to admit it to his face, let alone strike him down himself. Or he was just playing it smart.

There he was again, assuming the worst. This was more than just healthy paranoia though, he knew that. It was simply too hard to try and admit that Ben might not have been a complete heap of humanoid garbage. Useful even. A potential ally. He seemed willing to admit to his own shortcomings, at least. Didn't even try to defend his mess of a plan. Though his last sentence, Maxim was not sure how to interpret. Sounded like an attempt to provoke him at first, but it was clear it was not. Sounded too dry for that, like a simple observation. And honestly, he did have a point, in a way.

Maxim didn't respond to Ben's final assertion of him, not immediately. He let out a mix between a hum and a sigh, not out of annoyance, but rather curiosity. Finally, he gathered the words he wanted to use in his mind.

"Well, yes. What it boils down to is - to put it like you did - that I don't give a fuck." He put particular emphasis on the last word and despite its crudeness, it rolled over his tongue with much more gusto than he'd have thought it would. "But I do give a fuck about surviving, I'm sure you can relate. And the way I see it, we have two simple options here." He cleared his throat. Yes, he was basically just spelling out the obvious, but someone had to do it.

"Part ways right now or carry on as well..." Team was too strong a word too use. "Carry on together. Though of course, the question of trust is a whole different story."
Edited by Rorick Skyve, Sep 6 2016, 06:35 PM.
Peoples and Sheeples for V6
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