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They Stumbled Into Faith and Thought; (God, this is all there is?) - Open
Topic Started: Oct 23 2016, 12:46 AM (1,230 Views)
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Irene Djezeri Continued From Escape the Fate))

How many ways could you mangle and humiliate your classmates? Was that the contest they were playing? Everybody she came across seemed to have been ruined in a different way. Were there points? Was someone judging? Is that the kind of thing they took into mind when they squawked about a "best kill award" over the loudspeakers? How did that even work? They just crowd around and pick through people's darkest moments over and over again, and then, what? Whoever was the most original or horrifying got a pat on the head and a prize?

God. How completely fucked did you have to be to willingly put yourself through that? How fucked did you have to be to win it? After what she'd seen the last few days...Cristo must have been a real mess. It made her stomach turn to think of what must have been done to get their attention, and it was all on Kimiko. Yeah, Cristo was kind of a creep and a weirdo and awkward as they get, but he was harmless. An annoyance. All her anger at him and so many other people felt so petty now. Had Kimiko hated him so much that she had to kill him? Or did it just happen?

She couldn't answer that. But as she looked into garden at Jane's exposed corpse, she felt like she had a pretty good answer about what had happened here. This wasn't an accident. Someone hadn't just gotten scared and run. The wound was so close, so specific, and she'd been picked clean of everything but her bra. She couldn't look away. The others, maybe those had just been accidents, or maybe hurried, panicked moments, but you couldn't make any excuses here. And if there was one body, one murder like this already, then what else was out there?

It was only going to get worse. She could feel it in her churning guts, consumed by it to the point that Cass's horror barely stirred her from her spot just out of view on her bag. "Y-yeah," she called out weakly, clutching the shotgun to her chest. Johnny Three wouldn't help her in that position; she couldn't fire, or even aim. Somehow though, the gun was like a security blanket. The reassurance that she could do something, even if she wasn't, was enough. "It's really her. They got her too."

Cass might be shocked, but by her third body, Irene was starting to get numb to the idea. It was only going to get worse. There was a prize to chase, and the crazy people that did stuff like this were gonna chase it like an S-Rank.
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There was a lot of incredulity wound up in that they. Trav seemed to be taking the whole thing in a stride, but Cass had honed in on her, and it didn't take long for Irene to realize why. They implied an object, a person or group of persons in mind, which could shed light on this whole thing. Give them some advanced warning on who to look out for, all that jazz. It'd be nice to have something like that. They'd probably think less of her for seeing it and doing nothing, but at least she could help. At least she could tell them something useful.

Instead, Irene swallowed and squeezed Johnny Three a little harder, nodding her head. "They. Y'know just..." There was a group in mind. But it wasn't whoever had killed Jane specifically. Even if Irene wasn't the most popular girl in school or something, she felt like she knew almost everyone, especially among the juniors and seniors. The Cochise classes were a group, an us, a collection of people with a shared connection by proximity. There was fighting, and disagreeing, and cliques, but they were all still part of a group. Irene just couldn't conceive the people would murdered their classmates as part of us, though, and so they became they. "The murderers, I mean," she finished quietly. "I...Jane's not the first. First body I've seen, like, there was Josh, and..." She didn't know where she was going with this. She just curled up a little more and stared at the ground.

"I never thought any of us could do something like that."

And so us hadn't. They had.
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We can't do anything. That was the message they both kept repeating. We're helpless. Things just keep happening and there's no way to stop any of it. And maybe they were right, at least for themselves. Maybe there wasn't anything that they could do.

Johnny Three pressed against her chest to remind her that she could do something. That if she'd been around, maybe she could have stopped people like Josh, and Jane, and the others from dying. But it also reminded her that stopping death might mean causing it. The image of the gouged earth, so close to where Jeremy had been standing, hung in her mind. It could have been any number of they.

Maybe it should have been.

She wasn't there yet though. Instead, they pulled her along to a new line of thought: Cass mentioned company. It was sweet of them, but it immediately brought to mind Hannah and Olivia, scattered out there wherever because she'd run off like a total ditz and left them to figure it out their little Scooby Doo Sorority Adventure for themselves. She'd really Daphne'd that up. "I, uh, lost some friends," she began as she started to sit up. Her eyes widened as the implication caught up to her. "They're not dead! I mean, I don't think so, I hope not, just, we got separated, and..."

Blabbering. Lots of blabbering.

"Just, like, as long as you don't mind me keeping an eye out for them is all, I wanna make sure they're safe..."

God. It hadn't occurred to her just how badly she'd screwed up until now.
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Wade was...a guy. A guy Irene knew. Technically. It felt like the universe was throwing in her face how surface level most of her connections where one more time though, what with him focusing in on her out of everybody here. I mean, he was here, and a live, so maybe she should be happy to see him just for that? Was that enough? Or would that be freaky?
Was she staring? Did this look really stupid?

She gave him a quick little wave. "Heeeeey..."

So. This is what they were doing. A bunch of people who didn't know each other all that well, standing around bumping into each other and trying to pretend the whole thing wasn't painfully awkward.

Fuck. They were right. High school never ends.
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"Uh..."

Way to put me on the spot, man. The whole team-up, pair off thing had flown over her head, but now that it'd been pointed out it was hard to ignore. That emphasis on her being the one he knew, when honestly she only had half an idea who he was, was seriously wigging her out. Cass and Trav seemed to have covered all that though. She just kinda nodded along while they spoke, since they were making sense.

"Splitting up is a bad idea."

The words just kinda spilled out of her mouth. She didn't wanna get involved with this, they had it under control. The images kept flashing through her head, though. "Everyone's dying alone," she whispered quietly. "It's safer to be together." Jane was proof of that, right there in front of them.
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Safety in numbers, right? That was the idea. Bad things didn't happen in groups. All the bodies she'd seen had been alone, and they left them alone. Friends could protect you from them. Maybe.

Hopefully.

As they walked away from Jane's body, though, Irene had to wonder if friends could really do anything for you here. If Tina, or Josh, or Jane, had actually died alone and vulnerable. It was a miserable idea, dying out here with nobody around but your murderer. But was it more or less miserable than the idea that you weren't alone, that maybe you had friends all around, and they couldn't do anything for you. And when you died, they just left you.

Her hand squeezed Johnny Three as she pictured Hannah and Liv out there alone. She hadn't seen them since. She was going to find them now, and when she did...

Hadn't thought that far ahead yet. But she'd do something. She wouldn't be helpless. Not anymore.

((Irene Djezari Continued Elsewhere))
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