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Prince of Nothing; Open
Topic Started: Sep 16 2016, 02:43 PM (1,211 Views)
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[ *  *  *  * ]
A place to rest.

[Lili Williams continued from Consuelo's Departure]

The twin dorm buildings were just across the road from the warehouse. Lili had decided to go in that direction when she stepped through the gate, figuring that each building would have many rooms inside to hide in. Approaching the two buildings, she could've made the mistake of thinking the two were identical. When she got closer, however, she could see a chair on the lawn just outside the one on her right, along with splintered pieces of a bed not too far away. Signs of a scuffle. Lili silently decided to go towards the other building.

She was only a few paces away when she realized she might have made a mistake.

"HEY! ANYBODY THERE?"

On instinct, Lili raised her nightstick in front of her, grabbing it in both hands. She was glad that she hadn't decided to put it away in her bag earlier - unzipping it and fumbling around for a weapon would reveal where she was.

Someone was looking through the building already. From the sound of their words, Lili could tell that the speaker was male, which she considered as putting her as a disadvantage. She was already weaker than around half of the girls at Cochise, so going against a boy, who were more often than not stronger than her, wouldn't be worth the risk. But what if he was friendly? More importantly, what if he was someone Lili knew? If she did know who was inside, then Lili could potentially gain her first ally. Plus, she doubted that the boy inside was looking for someone to kill: anyone snooping around for that reason would probably have been more quiet.

Lili tip-toed over to the open door, and peered around the side.

A boy was standing in the hallway, more than likely the sound of the voice she heard earlier. She couldn't tell who he was, because his back was turned to Lili, whi-

"I'd be much more careful with who you approach from behind in the future."

Lili froze, and moved back behind the wall, careful to keep out of sight. It took every ounce of willpower she had to stop from twitching nervously, so as not to make a sound, but somehow Lili managed. She decided to stay put for the time being. Once the coast was clear, and the boy was out of the hallway, she would move in. For now, she was stuck outside the building.

A place to plan.
~~~~~ Creativity's Burning Pyre ~~~~~

NOW: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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[ *  *  *  * ]
The silence of the moment was broken by the bass drum beat of Lili's heart in her skull. She was totally blind to what was going on inside the building, or even what was going on just behind her wall. The only separation in between what was in there and out here, with her, was in a hollow, weathered wall. It made sense to her; so far, nothing in Spiderland, no momentary peace or calm, had been built on a strong foundation.

When she heard the noise, then, of a bag being set down on the ground, she knew the coast was not yet clear. Someone had just set their stuff down, and was starting to ruffle through the contents just in front of the door to the building, standing between Lili and peace.

Lili took a moment to add up what she knew in her head. Whoever had shouted earlier likely had no intent, or at least no obvious intent, though to what extent that could be used as a gauge of anything was up in the air, right? After all, Kaitlyn had been absolutely fine before the bell rang, but that was enough to send her off of the deep end, and Eye-patch had looked utterly peaceful before she turned that gun on Lili, so would she wind up making the same mistake in the end, falling victim to someone with every gear in their body wound up and every antennae tuned to "KILL," wouldn't she? It would take, and take, and take, until there was nothing left, no meat to pick from her bones. The sun would rise from the sea, kicking up a hurricane, and set on the other side with an impact that would shake her to the core.

All at once, Lili's thoughts spilled out of her brain and through her ears, pooling at her feet in a viscous soup. They dribbled out through her nose and her eyes, leaving trails down her face. She felt the weight of the drops of thought on her clothes, the metallic flow as each drop spun down and fell off of her face. Then, in a single moment of lucidity, she blinked once, and it was all gone.

...what?

Where had she been, in her train of thought? Did it matter anymore? She already knew what she was going to do.

Lili was going to turn the corner.

She had started to breath silently through her mouth, the same air going in and out in short intervals. Her mouth had opened softly, unconsciously, moments ago, sometime when she was lost in thought, though she could never know exactly when. Gripping the nightstick again in both hands, she felt the muscles in her feet tense up, threatening to root her to the spot like they had when she was in front of the warehouse. Not this time, she thought as her left foot picked up from the ground, and never again.

She swiftly rounded the corner, her eyes widening as she saw who had been sitting on the other side.

"Ben?" Lili said, in an astonished half-whisper, the words flowing forth from her mouth before she had a chance to reel them back in.
~~~~~ Creativity's Burning Pyre ~~~~~

NOW: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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[ *  *  *  * ]
Where there was once only one, there was now two. Another boy appeared in the doorway, which initially set Lili on edge, but after a few moments it became obvious that he was friendly. Maxim was his name, according to Ben. Ben's own reaction to Lili's appearance startled her, but she quickly reconciled it in her mind as a gut reaction. She could not afford to assume otherwise. Regardless, she found cause to relax, her grip on her nightstick loosening.

"I'm really happy to see you too, Ben," Lili said, smiling genuinely for the first time she had all day, "You're, like, the first person I've seen today that I know." She turned and looked at Maxim once more, now standing just a few feet away inside the building. She gave him a welcoming grin, being not sure what to say as an icebreaker. What was most important to her was that she was now, for the moment, in the company of friends.

"You're, like, friends with Ben too?" She asked Maxim, "Nice to meet you, I'm Lili."

The orange sun setting on the horizon glinted off the walls of the building, reminding Lili just how long of a day she had had so far. She was beginning to feel herself get tired, having to stifle a yawn that crept up seemingly from the realization itself. Her eyes began to droop, a whole day's constant movement creeping up on her in an instant. She leaned against the wall opposite to the one Ben was sitting against, looking at Ben once more. He looked, thankfully, unharmed, as did Maxim. Lili was glad that he had made it through the day unharmed. If anything had happened to one of her friends, she wasn't sure how she'd be able to react.

"Who'd you guys see today?" Lili asked, running her hand through her hair, "Just out of curiosity, y'know?"
~~~~~ Creativity's Burning Pyre ~~~~~

NOW: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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[ *  *  *  * ]
Ben smiled brightly, quoting a silly line from something he read, and everything began to settle back into place. Lili felt in that moment, for the first time since she woke up, at peace. The name he brought up wasn't familiar, Kim-whatever, but the threat that Ben claimed she posed was enough to bring her back to reality. She had to keep in mind the realness of her situation, no matter how comfy she got. There was a girl out there who had given herself a fatal weapon - a shard of glass, like Lily had - and who couldn't be reasoned with. She was mute: any conversation would be one directional. Lili couldn't try to account for something like that.

Maxim, the new kid, brought up someone Lili knew: the other Ben, of the Fields. Lili folded her hands in front of her as Maxim described how he had appeared to him. Ben had always been a voice of reason to Lili, someone she could talk to when things got shaky without the conversation getting too personal. She didn't peg him as the kind to start acting crazy right away.

Lili waited for the two to add on more people they've seen. The awkward silence that followed when it was apparent that they hadn't met anyone else sent a wave of cold into her chest, one she couldn't quite explain. Deep down, she felt thankful that they hadn't come into harm's way, but on the surface she felt jealous of how easy it had been for them so far.

"I've drawn the short stick here, I guess?" Lili said, shrugging her shoulders, "I've run into five people so far, and none of them have been, like, very much willing to be friends of mine, I'll tell you that much. There was this girl with an eye-patch who pointed a gun at me after I woke up, then on the bridge there was this Kaitlyn girl who wanted to trade with me, a dude named Alan who wanted to do some resistance thing, Scout, and the other Lily was at that radio tower thing over there." She pointed at the beacon towering high in the warm light of the evening.

"None of them, like, hurt me though," Lili reassured, laughing nervously as she remembered just how close she had been to not being here - the memory of the gun's muzzle still fresh in her mind, "And I even got some nice stuff from the trading, look!" She un-clipped the light saber from her belt and drew the plastic blade, straightening its pale green shaft and holding it up towards the sky.

"This was Alan's," She explained, "Gave it to me for a protein bar and a penny, and threw in a protein bar of his own for some reason. People're weird, y'know?"
~~~~~ Creativity's Burning Pyre ~~~~~

NOW: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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[ *  *  *  * ]
Lili nodded in response to Maxim's suggestion regarding sleep. As long as she got some time to recuperate in general, she didn't mind having to watch out for others. Plus, she really cared about these people - at the very least, she cared about Benjamin - and she knew that they'd watch out for her too. If she had paid attention while she was looking at her light saber, she would've seen Maxim's reaction and known that she was being inappropriate with what she chose to focus on, but the energy he exuded was enough to make her feel just a smidgen of shame for being so carefree. The day was wearing her down.

"I don't mind doing shifts," Lili said, collapsing the light saber and clipping it back in place. The logical part of her mind told her that it would also make the most sense to hole up in just one room, but despite the fact that the time for such reservations had long past, she wasn't all too comfortable with sleeping in the same room as two guys. She could trust Ben, sure, but even if Maxim was his friend, she wasn't quite ready to let her guard down that[ much yet.

"I can take first watch," She added, "I've made it through today, so, like, another few hours won't be a problem, yeah?"

She felt her eyelids begin to droop, but it wasn't anything too serious. She had stayed up late before, pouring over history books or listening to old music. Hell, she had even stayed up from dusk to dawn, not just once, not just twice, but three whole times! She had the stamina to keep going. She had to have the stamina, or else...

Or else...

She didn't want to think about it. She'd have all the time she wanted to think, later, while she was on guard. Yeah, that would work out fine. Just fine.
~~~~~ Creativity's Burning Pyre ~~~~~

NOW: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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[ *  *  *  * ]
Come to think of it, the only thing Lili had really eaten all day were the crackers she wolfed down when she first woke up. Having a little bit of time to eat some bread or something, and also to have a few sips of water, would be welcome after such a long day. Lili knew that volunteering for the first watch in her state was, on the surface, a bad move, but she thought of two possible outcomes. The first was that they let her take watch, and after she did she could have a relatively longer period of uninterrupted sleep, and the second was that they didn't let her take watch and she could get some rest sooner. Either way, she didn't mind.

"None at all," Lili replied, picking herself up off the wall. Small bursts of static rippled across her vision from getting up too fast, and for a moment she lost her balance. Her first step off the wall was rougher than she thought it would be, like her foot was made out of lead. Lili stumbled a bit before catching herself, the ground uneven beneath her feet. She blinked a few times, and everything was back to normal. Lili just hoped that Ben didn't get too worried.

Shit, why was she so cheerful all of a sudden? Only an hour or two ago, she was torturing herself with thoughts of people who wanted to cut her up and have her pieces strewn about like shards of broken glass, and now she was toting around light sabers and stepping out of her bounds just because she found one friend of hers? For all she knew, everyone else could have killed each other, and they were the last three left. Lili felt panic rise up within her again, climbing up through her chest and-

Nothing.

She couldn't feel panic. The scattered feeling she had felt before just wouldn't come back.

Lili didn't have much time to ponder this, though, before her feet carried her through the door into the building, acting on a whim of their own. She set her bag down while she was inside, and opened it up, looking for her flashlight. It was as if her own body had gone into autopilot, reaching into her bag and pulling out the light. She turned it on and pointed it down the hallway.

"One of those down there, that open one, right?" She asked, just to confirm.
~~~~~ Creativity's Burning Pyre ~~~~~

NOW: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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[ *  *  *  * ]
Lili nodded in response to Maxim's suggestion. She could tell that there was a little bit of venom in his words, but at this point, she didn't really care. With a nod of her head, she walked down the hall to the open door, holding her bag by the strap in her left hand and her nightstick in her right, and walked inside.

The room was just as Maxim had described it. Barren, devoid of any distinguishing features beside the mark on the door. Lili sat on a nearby bed opposite the door and set her stuff down next to her, unzipping her bag in search of food. Eventually, she stumbled upon the piece of bread she got from Kaitlyn on the bridge and decided it was good enough to eat, slipping it between her teeth. Despite being an ordinary piece of bread, it miraculously tasted better than anything she had eaten in the past month. Each bite made her feel, strangely, just safer and safer in her temporary home.

In the distance, she could hear Maxim pose a question to Ben, something about... weaponry? Maxim had been assigned a bow, if she had heard right, and apparently didn't know how to use it. Lili was out of luck in that category, too. Unless someone had been assigned something as ridiculous as a bladed kite for a weapon, there was probably nothing on the island that Lili could use better than a blunt instrument.

Lili sighed, and took off her sweater, revealing her cherry-red Frank Zappa t-shirt underneath. At first glance, the color of the shirt brought to mind the blood on the other Lily's clothes, making the present Lili shudder. The sheets on the bed were clean enough for Lili to sleep on, but she wanted a blanket of some sorts to wrap around her if it got too cold. It wasn't freezing out, so she left her emergency blanket in her bag for the time being. For the time being, she left her sweater on the bed a few feet away from her, and went back to eating her food.

Soon enough, she had finished the bread, wrapped her sweater around herself, and fallen asleep on top of the sheets curled into a ball.
~~~~~ Creativity's Burning Pyre ~~~~~

NOW: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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[ *  *  *  * ]
Lili Williams was in the middle of a nightmare.



The streets of Kingman were empty, lit only by the light of streetlamps cracked open in the dead of night. The sky was ablaze with a murder of crows, swirling around in a tornado of feathers and primal instinct. Lili couldn't help but stare at the ground as she ran, barefoot, down main street. Broken bottles, shards of glass, dug themselves into her feet with each and every painful step. Behind her, she heard the devil stalking about on eight legs, each one hitting the ground with a stabbing thud. Further, further she went, turning off onto a side road where the ground was less solid and taking off at full speed.

The trees were adorned with bloodied bodies, strung up onto tree limbs by their wrists. Torn off clothes fabric, made red with blood, littered the streets, and plagues of rats darted from corner to corner. Crows began to swoop down, diving into her arms covering her face, picking at her hands, tearing off finger skin. Lili batted them away with the bloodied stumps of her hands. The birds continued to dive, slamming into her face, knocking her teeth out and to the ground. Her ears rang with the tolling of a church bell, endlessly sending pulse after pulse straight into the center of her forehead. Tufts of her hair fell to the ground as the last of the crows tore away, her nerves screaming out so loud that they drowned each other out and faded into a dull pain all across her body.

Eventually, she found the street her house was on. Lili ran towards her front door and opened it wide, jumping inside before the devil could catch her. Lili held the door closed with her back, the devil knocking on the door with force Lili had never felt before. She closed her eyes, fighting with every ounce of strength in her body to keep the door shut. Splinters of wood pushed into her back with each push given, and she cried out in agony, her throat burning with tears. Lili knew that she couldn't fight back for much longer. If she was in the right state of mind, she would've been impressed with how far she had gotten. Now, she felt only fear: Fear of dying at the hands of the monsters behind her, and fear of living with the scars that she would carry forever.

Then, she felt slippery hands grabbing her feet.

Lili's eyes opened, and she gazed down at the floor.

Bloodied faces stared back at her, with needle-teeth barred and ready to tear away.

Her back gave out, and she collapsed onto the floor, wet hands resting on her head.

The devil broke through, lifting the door off of its hinges, and scooped Lili up in its spidery arms.

She was tossed out into the abyss, surrounded by the screaming faces of people she could never save.



She shifted in her sleep, pulling her sweater over her head. She shivered in the dark. For the rest of the night, she had no more dreams, a blessing and a curse.

[Lili Williams awakens the following day, singing a Song for a Warrior.]
~~~~~ Creativity's Burning Pyre ~~~~~

NOW: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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