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Cooking Up Trouble; Early Morning of Day 5 before the announcements [Private]
Topic Started: Jan 28 2017, 08:29 AM (1,215 Views)
TwelveFourtyFive
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Guns. Is this how he dies?

Coleen with a gun came in, and understandbly wanted to know what had happened here.

Alessio could not tell her. She would kill him if he did.

"..."

He said nothing. Why was he here? Because terrorists brought him here. He'd rather be at home.

This situation reminded him of Astrid robbing him, but this time the gun was going to be real. He felt cold. He wanted a blanket. He was afraid of the gun, death.

There was a second person, too. That person talked him to take things 'easy'. He just told him 'easy' as if he was an animal hunted by hunters.

"I-uh-ng."

He lowered his sword to show that he was not hostile. But he couldn't say anything.
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MK Kilmarnock
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Arthur's words did nothing to soothe her, nor did Alessio's inability to answer her question.

Coleen tried another, and this time she could not stop her shoulders from trembling. Her voice wavered as well; carefully, determinedly, she parsed each word and forced them from her mouth.

"Cameron. Why did you kill Cameron."

Coleen swallowed. Her hands felt cold, but they held the gun.

"Tell me why she had to die."
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CrossbowPig
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Arthur's eyes slipped back and forth, going from Coleen to the gun in her hand to the painted target shivering before her. The boy spit out a few sounds and lowered his weapon.

Coleen spoke calmly and decisively. None of the shaking from yesterday. If there was some kind of uneasiness in her words, it was offset by Arthur's own similar feelings. Like looking at a wheel spinning so fast it looked like it was still. Unable to tell what was what.

And yet something was off about the whole scenario to Arthur. Something that made the wheel slow down enough that the spokes were easily seen.

Is it just me, or is he scared?
~~~~~ "We were wrecks before we crashed into each other."

NOW: V7

SOON: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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TwelveFourtyFive
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That was an interrogation he did not like.

"C-can we change topics?"

Al was afraid. He looked behind Coleen, but the door to escape this situation seemed miles, even though it were just a few steps.

The gun made everything so much more difficult for him.
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MK Kilmarnock
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Coleen threw her head sharply to the left. Her hair bounced out, darted back in, washed over her face and itched her nose. It was not the desired effect, and it only served to irritate her even more than Alessio's words had.

No.

NO.

Alessio did not get to play any card that involved the two of them pitying him. He didn't get to cower weakly and shiver, not when he was a goddamned murderer who had just killed again, fresh blood seeping from a freshly dead wound. Not when he had taken her friend, her sister in arms for a band that helped find more than one stage in life that she could be comfortable on. Somewhere where she had been accepted. You don't just get to take that from her and then expect to get off easy.

This time, it was her left hand dedicating itself to sweeping the messy, tangled strands of hair away from her eye and over her ear rather than letting the toss of a head do it for her. The rifle's muzzle swayed even more erratically but only for the moment it took Coleen to fully expose her face. She needed to see all of Alessio, hate him, be disgusted with him. The emotion disgusted her as well; just as much as she felt a pit in her stomach just by looking at the sad sack of a man her classmate had become, there was a sense of filthiness that came from feeling the way she did. She was now pointing a gun at a living human being. On the one level, it pulled at every sense of her humanity.

And on the other, she really couldn't be arsed to give a flying fuck about Alessio's well-being.

"Answer me!" Coleen shrieked. Her eyes felt dry, but they could not close. They only opened wider, her chin quivering. "Answer me, why did you kill her!?"

She was going to kill him. She promised herself she would.
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CrossbowPig
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The boy was a snake. Trying to squeeze himself out of the situation any way he could. Did he really think that asking Coleen to change the topic would work? Was it some attempt at a joke? Either way, it was idiotic. Almost like he was trying to die. Arthur stood and watched, his eyes blank. Emotionless. Was there anything he could do? Was there anything that he should do? He felt like an accessory.

Arthur figured he might as well ask.

"Any way I can make myself useful?" he asked, walking closer to the door.

He'd stopped caring about how this would look to his family by now. They'd been an afterthought for the past two days anyway. He'd slept in a room with a corpse, watched two people die, pulled weapons out of corpses, threatened someone with a paintball gun, and now he was possibly going to be an accessory to a third murder. Arthur knew that his sister had already been thinking less of him. Nothing left to change.

Nothing left to lose.

"I could pin him down, if you want."
~~~~~ "We were wrecks before we crashed into each other."

NOW: V7

SOON: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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TwelveFourtyFive
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He was not getting out of this. He stared at the door. He stared at Arthur, at the gun. Arthur really acted like he was a dog that needed to be slaughtered.

He stared at the gun. Coleen needed to not point it at him anymore. Don't put the focus on him anymore.

"Arthur, put that thing away."

Coleen looked back. Not long, but long enough. It took four steps for Al to run to the gun. Giant, quick steps. If Coleen had fired, he would have been dead.

But Alessio used both of his hands, with the right one still holding the sword, to push the gun away from his direction.

That was a brave act that could end his life.
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MK Kilmarnock
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By the time Coleen realized her error, it was already too late.

Stupid. So stupid.

She'd actually fallen for the crazed, mumbled ramblings of a boy who wore a loosened straitjacket and had murdered one of her closest friends. It was only for a fraction of a second, but it was the fraction of a second Alessio needed to make his move. She had time to sharply inhale and tuck the gun in, and then he had made impact.

"GO!" Coleen screamed at the top of her lungs, but it was a word without meaning. On the day she woke up, maybe even the day after, Arthur would have been the one in front, and she'd be shrieking behind him. That girl was still somewhere inside her, telling her to run. Save her own skin, leave Arthur to do the heavy lifting. Get out of here. Get out of this dangerous place.

Cameron told her something else, and so Coleen pushed back. Alessio's motions were frantic, however. To her, he was like a cornered animal: uncontrolled, impulsive, instinctual. It reminded her of a nearly feral dog chained up in one of the yards of her neighborhood as a young girl, who would always bite at anybody who walked past the fence. Or, maybe, it only growled and pulled at its chain for her. She never was with anybody else when walking by that yard.

She gave up seeking answers and tried to beckon on the trigger while leading the muzzle of her rifle to Alessio. The trigger squeezed and the gun went off, a twitch sending a bullet or maybe two into the ceiling of the storage area. Coleen gasped and threw herself back, trying anything to get Alessio to let go. The gun went off again, this time practically over her shoulder.
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He was stupid enough to look when the boy said his name. Looked behind him, as if there were any other Arthur in the room. By the time his eyes made it back to Coleen, the boy was already struggling to take the gun from her. She screamed at him to go, a voice so loud and shrill that it caught him in his tracks. Arthur watched the two struggle for a few moments, unable to will himself to move.

I couldn't move for Bradley either.

A shot rang out, firing into the roof of the closet. The sound brought him back to reality, clearing away any doubt he had about what he had to do.

She isn't Bradley. She won't die.

"Get off of her!" he shouted.

Arthur mustered up all of his courage, moving his legs beneath him and running forward to break the fight up. He'd push the boy to the ground and hit him across the face. Pistol whip him. Slam his head into the wall. Shoot him in the legs and watch him bleed out. Arthur didn't care who was watching. Nobody hurt the people close to him and got away with it. Tears of rage fumed at the corners of his eyes, water so hot it felt like it was boiling his skin off. Nothing like what the boy would feel.

He looked scared.

He should be.

Arthur knew there was no time for planning. He pulled his spear in front of him, pointed end ready to be refreshed with the taste of blood yet again. Straight at the boy's heart. Hopefully, it'd miss, and he'd have more time to-

"BANG!"

The spear flew out of Arthur's hand, clanging against the walls of the closet. He face planted into the wall next to the door, smashing his nose sideways.

Arthur tried to move himself.

He couldn't.

His side was burning, and blood was starting to pool beneath him.
~~~~~ "We were wrecks before we crashed into each other."

NOW: V7

SOON: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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TwelveFourtyFive
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The gun was loud, very loud. It felt like a plane was just flying two feet next to him.

He did not want to be in this room anymore. It was confusing and messy. Arthur flew against the wall. Bloodied. The gun was too much of a risk of getting shot.

So Al ran.

Out the door, he ran and ran. Away.

After he could think again, he thought. Coleen had just tried to kill him.

((Alessio Rigano continued in You Know My Name))
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MK Kilmarnock
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"Arthur!?"

Something was very wrong, Coleen could feel. Her vision had tunneled in during the struggle with the rifle, it went off several times and, in accord with the last burst of fire, Arthur slammed against the wall and dropped. Some distance between her and Alessio had opened up, enough to afford a look down to Arthur.

Arthur was bleeding, and badly. The bleed seeping out of him dispelled any notion that it was a wayward elbow or the recoil of the gun that caught him.

Alessio shot by, escaping view past the frame of the door. "NO!" Coleen blurted, stumbling and catching herself by the door's frame as well. By the time she oriented herself to look out of the room, Alessio was near to rounding a corner. Her blood was cooling too rapidly as a knot twisted in her chest, leaving her unable to scream the obscenities she had saved just for her friend's killer. Pent up and with nowhere else to direct it, her throat leaked a slow and drawn-out whine.

Arthur. Something was wrong with Arthur. Coleen doubled back and knelt, the gun resting on the floor between her knees and his side.

"Get up, man," Coleen croaked. "What- what even happened to you? W-walk it off, Arthur, I need you right now!"
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His vision was swimming. Arthur couldn't see a thing until he managed to roll over, his clothes soaked in crimson. Coleen knelt next to him. He couldn't look her in the eye. The bullet hole in his side burned, feeling like it had dug deeper, almost as if it was still moving through him, cutting through veins and sinew and bone with nothing in its path.

His whole body was screaming at him to do something, anything to stop the bleeding. He was so distracted by this pain that he couldn't even notice that his nose had been broken again, twisted to the side like the snout of a farm animal. Every breath he took was ragged, every throb of pain stabbing through his brain. With both hands, he squeezed at the wound, trying to hold it shut while the sound of the outside world beat against his ears like the monstrous roar of the foaming ocean waves he had just come to know.

Henry, Jasper, Bernadette, and Bradley. Was this how it felt for them, too?

In their dizziness, his eyes rested on a camera in the corner of the room. He tried to look away, to pull himself out of the trance the lens put on him.

"I..."

Suddenly, it was as if his bullet wound had gone up in flames. Arthur opened his mouth to scream, recoiling away from the camera, the only sound escaping his lips a quiet whimper. The pressure of the blood building up against his palms was too much to hold in place, so he let go. He held his hand up to his face.

So much blood. So much red.

"I'll...I'll..."

His breathing sped up, his body rallying for on last final push before it eventually gave up. Arthur found the strength to sit himself up against the wall, gasping for air. The sides of his vision tore like burnt paper, slowly crackling and crumbling away toward an inevitable full stop.

Nothing touches me.

Arthur expected to see his life flash before his eyes. Something like the trope he had written into his stories so many times, the last dramatic moments to squeeze any last tears out of the readers his work would never find. Instead, he was faced with the burning reality surrounding him. No distracting flashbacks or fitting last words came to mind. This was real. This was happening, and it was happening to him.

His hands were going numb. So cold and so hot at the same time. Herky-jerky spasms like clockwork out of sync with itself. He bit down on his tongue, hard, hoping that the shot of pain would buy him some more time of lucidity. Anything to keep himself afloat. Arthur wanted to grab Coleen and hold her close to him. He couldn't figure out how to lift his eyelids - he hadn't even noticed that they had closed. Arthur felt lighter all over except for the point where blood was still flowing out, slower, but still there, like an anchor dug deeply into the ground.

In desperation, he threw out his hand for something to grab onto. It found Coleen's leg. Soft. Warm. Alive. Breathing. Squeezed it. Blood underneath his palm, his own on his skin and Coleen's beneath hers. His left eye fell open, and he could see the look on her face. Through the pain, he managed to curl his lips into a smile. The 'everything will be alright' smile. The 'it's too late' smile.



A smile nonetheless.

Was there anything left to say to her?

Maybe there was. Somewhere. Sometime.

Not here. Not now.



B043 - ARTHUR BERNSTEIN: ELIMINATED
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MK Kilmarnock
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Her companion's grip shocked her out of staring just at the wound in his side. Her fingers, shaking and dirty, hardened with calluses from being chewed on anxiously and from pulling a roughly-shaking trigger, rested on Arthur's own. Coleen pulled his hand away and then clasped it. His clutch, initially a vise, faded away when his eye opened.

Looking into Arthur's eye coated Coleen's lungs in ice.

"Arthur... Arthur, come on, pull through this!" she pleaded, logic and hope washed out by desperation. The weight of her daypack had heavily tilted to her shoulder. She, like every other student here, had a first aid kit in there; despite being so viscerally attached to her person, it may as well have been on the other side of the bridge for as good as it would do Arthur at the moment. He had been shot... by a bullet from her gun, no less. If she had been in better control, if she hadn't fallen for such a stupid trick from a cornered animal she had dead in her sights, Arthur wouldn't have been hurt. He looked out for her.

This is how she repaid him.

Arthur's eye was open.

It didn't see anything.

Coleen's hand crushed the fingers of a dead man, squeezing as tightly as her eyes had. The ice in her chest was burned away by an ignited vehemence, raging and thrashing around as if emulating the throes of a caged beast. There was no point in calling his name -- Arthur wasn't coming back. Her previously free hand clawed at his stained and ratty shirt, near where some of the blood had seeped and spread. The frustration of her failure, the agony of her loneliness poured out into a piercing scream, a high note sung for a silent crowd of three. Then the hand released its hold on Arthur's shirt. Its sister dropped its hand to the floor and the both of them, balled into fists, struck in syncopated swings upon his still chest.

"Wake up! Wake up! Wake..."

She never remembered standing up, or turning away from Arthur. She found herself shuffling past the next-freshest body in the room, numbly regretting she hadn't known the girl better. Maria. Sweet girl. They had Food and Nutrition together, where Maria was allowed to show off her excellent cooking ability that Coleen imagined would one day net her a very happy husband. Not anymore. Because of Alessio. Just like Arthur wouldn't be able to protect and take care of her, which seemed to be the sole reason for his wanting to go on. Her thoughts drifted back to the art room so close by, where he showed such concern when learning how she had once wanted to die. That concern would never again overcome the wretched, futile smile that was on Arthur's face when he died. Because of Alessio.

Coleen stumbled near to the back of the quieted room and knelt before her friend. Cameron had... she had looked better. According to the announcements, she had been dead for a whole day at the very least, and her shell showed no vibrancy or that shoot-from-the-hip attitude or... or anything that had made Cameron... Cameron. She almost wanted to believe that it wasn't her, that it couldn't be her. What a nice fantasy that would have been.

Though her blank and dead face frightened her, Coleen pushed past all her inhibition to gently lift up the back of Cameron's head. People always thought that her face was scary, too, Coleen thought; it would have been rude not to extend the same courtesy the one and only time Cam managed to look worse than her. Though her body had stiffened and resisted her attempts to manipulate it, she managed to pull Cameron's head to her chest, hugging it close to her.

'Would you look at that,' Coleen imagined in Cam's voice, all of them sitting on or around the couch in that dank, filthy basement. 'I've got a hard-on for this.' Sounded like something Cam might say at a time like this, if she weren't busy being dead.

She choked out a laugh, giggling with her friends at Cam's stupid joke that in reality she had only imagined. It just seemed right, sharing in a laugh wherever she could find it. And, though she knew it would just annoy Cam if she could hear it, the laughter turned to sobs.

---

Coleen took one last look at the room. The gun that had dropped near Arthur moments before, and the spear that he once held, were cradled close to her in each of her arms. The spear was taken with a regretful whisper and a silent thank you. A timid, apologetic search through his bag had relieved him of food and water. In exchange, she placed a tube of her favorite lip balm underneath Arthur's hand, the same that had gripped her leg. For Cameron, Coleen had removed the Drake and Josh DVD collection and placed it next to her. It was stupid and hokey, something that maybe Cameron would be able to enjoy. Poor Maria who, all things considered she had known the least, was at least given the courtesy of having a gauge bandage unfurled and placed over her eyes. A pittance of privacy.

Coleen's hair was tied back tight, making her feel like she was in theatre period at the auditorium. Cameron was never really one for hair ties, but she always seemed to have a spare one for her band members when they needed one. On a whim, Coleen dared to check her pockets. Out of habit, she even asked. Cameron didn't seem to mind. The time for hiding her face had long since passed. Her skin could crack and peel if it wanted. That sort of pain felt like nothing now.

"You need to tie this back, otherwise people can't see your face and trust me, you look fine."

Coleen backed out of the room, only turning once she was entirely free of it. She would never come back here.

Now, she had to find Alessio.

((Coleen Reagan, continued in The Virgin Sea))
Edited by MK Kilmarnock, Feb 24 2017, 06:39 PM.
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