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The Greatest Sideshow on Earth
Topic Started: Dec 8 2016, 07:38 PM (1,576 Views)
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((Amanda Tan continued from Notes from An Even Smaller Island))

She’d gone right out of the asylum without thinking.

It wasn’t as if it was the worst idea in the world. It was enclosed, it was cramped, and they wouldn’t be finding any water in there.

So out Amanda went, barely caring about if the others were there following. They did, but she didn’t know why.

Where she was heading next had become a problem. She said she’d think of it later, but later was now and even as they made their way away from the asylum, she had no idea where she was going.

The beach wasn’t a bad choice, but even if they did manage to get there, what then? She doubted any of them knew how to set up a desalination plant in the middle of nowhere, and even if they did know, it wasn’t like they had the tools for it, right?

And so they just walked on, past the beach, past the bridge, past the radio tower, past half the island to god knew where.

She’d asked a couple times if anyone wanted to go anywhere in particular, but all she’d gotten was a couple shrugs and no strong answers in any direction.

They were completely lost, as if unmoored from time itself, simply wandering from place to place with no aims or objective.
And now they were here. What now?

Split up and look for clues? Yeah. That sounded good. It was something leader-like at least.

“I guess we should look for stuff. Maybe there’s a drink left over or something?” Close enough, right?

The place looked run down like everything else they’d seen on the island. Empty bottles lined the shelves, counters, chairs, a wide assortment of things she could only refer to as stuff.

There was the usual glint of cameras too, silently staring at them. They’d been watching them the entire time. Just staring at them as they made their way across the pub floor.

She let out a shriek when she came upon Tessa’s body.

“Is she- Oh my god, she’s dead.”

There was blood. Everywhere. Crimson splatters like a grade school art project gone awry strewn across the body, each and every streak drawing attention to their source, the mess that had once been Tessa's neck.

She needed to say something. She needed to calm people down. She needed to calm herself down.

She didn’t, or couldn’t, one or the other, thoughts needlessly entangled as she simply stood there, unable to do anything at all.
"I have the heart of a young boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk" -- Stephen King

Those no longer with us

It's the Grand Map of Doom! v6
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Breathe. She needed to breathe.

She was useless here. What on Earth was she supposed to do about a dead body?

Her mind was stuck, as it had been ever since they'd been here, as if someone had shoved a rusty crowbar into whatever thought processes she was having this whole time. Even her emotions felt stuck, unable to move past that initial shock she'd had ever since she'd seen the body.

And then Kaitlyn here, she said she didn't kill her and she couldn't believe her, but she couldn't not believe her.

It was impossible to believe that anyone could have killed anyone at all, but the dead body in the room made it clear enough that as much as the terrorists might been lying to them, there was, at minimum, one dead body here.

Kaitlyn had a gun in her hand. That marked her out as dangerous, as hypocritical as that seemed. But the girl was far more likely to use it than herself, right? Besides, they said ninety perent of murders were commited by someone the victim knew, right? What if Kailtyn had shot Tessa's neck, just so it'd look like she was blown up by the terorrists?

It was merely a possibility, but whatever happened, staying wary was probably for the best.

"You-", she started, but she had nothing to add. Either Kaitlyn would tell them everything, or she wouldn't and nothing she said right now would really change that. She merely gripped her rifle tighter, hoping that would ward off Kaitlyn trying anything on them.
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What the heck was happening?

Amanda knew Mia well enough. Was she really dead, too? They'd watched matches more than a few times together, she knew Mia enough to know that she wasn't the type to- she wouldn't just- She-

She didn't actually know.

Things were a mess. She was holding a gun, people were dead, and she had no clue what was happening from day one.

After all that would it be a surprise if Mia was dead?

With people like Kaitlyn, already raiding bags for stuff, showing no regard for the fact that the person it belong to lay dead right in plain sight.

This was wrong.

Completely wrong.

She tossed things, water, food, tossed onto the ground towards them. Were they supposed to pick them up, scrounging for the scraps that Kaitlyn left behind?

And then Kaitlyn had to declare she had a bomb.

The gun went up instantly, defying Kaitlyn's command to not move, and it was only now that she noticed that Kaitlyn's own gun was pointed at them.

"Okay, let's put the gun down." Hypocrite, went a voice in the back of her mind.

"Emma's right. Let's talk things through and not do anything rash here. Take it. Take the bomb."
Edited by Randomness, Dec 31 2016, 08:29 PM.
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Amanda lowered her own gun sheepishly, her breathing slowly returning to normal as the situation de-escalated.

Kaitlyn was trying to make peace with them in her own fast-talking way, and as much as Amanda didn't like it, it was leagues better than the alternative. Things were going better than expected, something that seemed to be a theme lately, and she wasn't sure how much of that was luck, and how much of that was an abysmal sense of expectations.

Still, she didn't fully trust Kaitlyn. Kinda hard to suddenly trust the grave robber who had one extra bomb on her person than when you met her. Not after she pointing a gun at them. Not after she casually used Mia dying to scare them. But that didn't mean she had to do anything, not when everything had managed to settle down.

Besides, they'd managed to achieve their goal of getting water in a lucky coincidence. And yet, it'd feel completely wrong to take it, especially with their owner still there, still watching over the room with soulless eyes.

And worse off it was starting to rain too. It looked like they were going to be stuck there for the night. And if they were going to be stuck in the pub, she'd rather not have any corpse, let alone Tessa, watching over her the entire night.

"Okay. Let's move it. But let's make it fast, okay?"

Amanda grabbed onto her arms, and with a little help from Kaitlyn and Jaime, lifted the body up. Even though she didn't want to, she couldn't help to notice Tessa's head, which was dangling off at an awkward angle, the neck too damaged to hold it up properly, its weight shaking in a way that made her a little queasy, as they transported the body out of the pub.

The body was dropped, a little too unceremoniously for her liking, left to suffer in the rain while they stayed dry inside the shitty pub.

"Okay, I never thought I’d say this about Tessa, but I actually kinda feel sorry for her out there."
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It was a with sense of unease that she reentered the room.

Her mind kept returning to Tessa, still outside in the rain, still watching them from out there.

And she knew exactly what she was doing and why and she hated that she was doing it.

It was wrong to be afraid of her this way? The way her mind was making her corpse some boogeyman because she didn't want to normalise it. Didn't want to acknowledge that this was real, that Tessa being dead was real, that dying was a real thing that happened.

And so she was afraid of Tessa.

She wouldn't join her. She wouldn't.

--

Emma's voice cut into her empty sleep, slowly bringing the world back into focus once more.

Amanda sat up, blinking at the room, trying to work out what was wrong apart from that already not-so-short list of problems that stemmed from being dropped onto an island and told to kill your classmates.

"What?" She stood up, still confused. Kaitlyn was missing?

"She's not in the backroom or anything?"

She rushed over towards the backroom herself, swinging open the door hard enough that it slammed against the wall behind it, only to find a severe lack of Kaitlyn within the room.

It was only with the announcements later that morning that things made a little more sense.

Kaitlyn was a killer. Not just any killer but apparently she was the bloody Best at it, whatever that actually meant. Kaitlyn was the one who'd killed Mia and she'd just bloody claimed that she committed suicide and she just stayed there with them and took Tessa's stuff and she just let it go because no matter how much she didn't like it, Kaitlyn just looked like she was trying to survive and what the heck was she supposed to say about that?

And she had a bomb.

Kailtyn had a bomb and it was all her fault.

She should have shot her, she should have stopped her, she should have done anything other than nothing.

But she didn't and now Kaitlyn was out there with a bomb, a gun, and whatever weapon the terrorists had decided to throw at her.

Okay, calm. She needed to do something, but not something stupid.

"Okay guys," she turned to Jaime and Emma. "We need to talk. About Kaitlyn."

She didn't want to talk so much as ramble, but that was far beside the point.
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“Yeah.” she nodded at Jaime, before realising what she had said. ”No. No. Maybe.”

But Jaime was half right.

“But yeah, we just let a killer out there. She lied to us, but we were still the one’s who let her get off our sight. I mean we all knew something was wrong when she was picking up scraps from dead people right?” Her voice was rising more than she noticed. She wasn’t just upset that Kaitlyn had tricked them. She was just as much upset that she had been tricked.

“We had a chance to stop her, but we didn’t. I don’t know what the fuck I want to do when we find her, but I feel like we gotta fo that.” But it wasn’t just Kaitlyn who had killed. Nancy, Isabel, even Kimiko was killing people out there. What was she doing talking like this? What would finding her even accomplish?

The gun was still there. Lying on the ground as if simply waiting to catch her attention once more. She almost hated it now. And yet she was even more afraid to be without it.

“What if she- Do we want to- When we-” She paused. The words had suddenly stopped coming out right.

She had pointed the gun at Kaitlyn without thinking. She could have done it. If her fingers hadn’t been trembling at the trigger, she might have done it. If Kaitlyn hadn’t stopped right there, maybe she would have.

"Should- Should I have shot her?”
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((Skipping to leave thread))

Of course she shouldn't have. Of course it wasn't right.

She didn't know what else she had expected Emma to say.

But some part of her wanted to have done it. Some part of her so sure that she would have been happier if she had done it. Some part of her still wanted to do it.

"Yeah, we do need a plan." She’d said that since day one, but the closest thing to a plan she’d come up with had led them here.

“But what can we do? I don’t think any of us here can outtalk a bullet.”

Hold on.

There were only three people in the room. Her. Emma. Jaime.

Someone was missing. Someone other than Kaitlyn.

“Wait. Where's Lucilly?"

She'd said she'd gone outside for a bit, but how long ago had that been?

Her bag wasn't here. She must have taken it with her, but that meant-

Lucilly had left.

The heck.

Lucilly was gone.

She couldn't breathe, nervous laughter fighting all sensibility for the situation.

Of course she'd left. Of course she did.

It'd been four days now and all they'd managed to do was scrape by.

What had they managed to do? They'd spent two days stuck in a shitty room, and their search for water had ended up with them giving a killer a weapon.

She was terrible at this. She wasn't the one who came up with plans. She wasn't the one who decided things. But no one seemed to want to do it and so she had tried.

Look how great that turned out.

It didn't even feel like she'd tried all that hard, after all.

It was a miracle that they'd managed to keep together as long as they did.

And now it everything was starting to fall apart.

She had panicked when Lucilly tried to leave that first time on the first day. She didn't know why then but now she knew. She hadn't been worried about Lucilly. She had been worried about her little attempt at leading the group falling apart.

But she'd left anyway, proving exactly how bad she was at this.

Why couldn't Emma have taken charge? She was clearly more suited for the role, Emma could handle things. That's why she was in the student council after all. Amanda wasn't meant to be doing this. She wasn't meant to be in charge of a group like this. She always tried to do too much and she knew, she knew that once again she had gone in over her head.

There was too much be angry at. Kaitlyn, the terrorists, Lucilly, the island, Emma, everything.

But most of all she was angry at herself.

"Sorry. I really can't- No, I can’t do this anymore."

They deserved an explanation but she couldn't pull the words together to give them one. Not like this.

All she knew is that she needed to be away from them suddenly and that she had already grabbed her things and that she was already out the door.

Tessa was still outside, cold eyes still staring at her.

She broke into a run.

((Amanda Tan continued in Say You're One of Them))
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