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Hemochromatosis; Day 5, tagging VoltTurtle and Cicada Days~
Topic Started: Feb 6 2017, 05:23 PM (967 Views)
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"Well," Raina started to reply, before a shout in the distance interrupted her. She glanced around in confusion, but was unable to locate the source of the yell. Best not to think too hard about it.

She shook her head. "Johnny was at the warehouse when I left. I... after dealing with Darius, I needed some time to cool down. Johnny probably didn't go far." Where was there for him to go, without her guidance? They had agreed that she was in charge. "Lili said her things were in the library. I don't know how much good it would do, but more supplies is always better than less."

Raina stood and dusted herself off for the little good it would do. "I don't have my heart set on following her or anything, but if we don't have any other plans..." She trailed off with a shrug.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Penelope glanced out into the distance, searching for whoever was screaming.

She hoped they were okay, whoever it happened to be. Before she could move to really investigate, her attention was turned back towards Raina as she spoke. Johnny was in the warehouse, and Lili was presumably heading to or at least nearby the library. Not locations she particularly wanted to visit, but the warehouse could serve as a fairly easy place to gather up as many people as possible for the plan, or potential help for Raina's escape plan.

Penelope held her hand over her mouth, thinking about what they could do. Get as many followers of either plan together as possible. Searching around and grabbing people one by one was probably never going to work. Even seemingly stable and reasonable people might decide to wander off and then end up killing someone else, like Will.

They would need a signal. Fire would be seen as an attempt at getting help to come to the island, and it didn't seem like anyone had really come to Tara's signal fire, so that was out. The bell tower could put out a massive noise that you can hear all across the island. Perhaps if they went there and fortified the area they could slowly amass the following they needed, or at the very least get as many people behind the plan in spirit as possible.

"Okay... so... here's an idea. We need friends if we want to get out or go out with our middle fingers up, right?" She motioned in the air with her hands. "Well, maybe after we go and get Johnny, we could try heading over to the bell tower near the asylum and like... keep ringing the bell until people come around."

Penelope stopped as her leg suddenly cramped up, sitting down with a slight hissing noise. She had almost forgotten how much the muscles in her legs ached. She had done more than enough walking in the last few days, what with trying to find her friends and... boyfriend...

...

She took a deep breath to calm herself. Regardless, she had found a friend, her best friend in the whole world even. She probably needed to take some time to rest and recuperate. "Say... Raina..." She looked up at her friend, who sat down herself to meet at eye level. "Would you mind if we just... stayed here for a little while?"

As much as she didn't want to be in close proximity to the charred body of Tara, it was either waiting here or walking even more without rest, she didn't have much option. She shook her head to clear her thoughts, continuing on with her words. "I've probably walked around this whole island twice over at this point. I think I could use... maybe an hour or two of relaxation? If you don't mind, of course."
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"Well..."


Ben's eyes lifted from the briquette crime scene. Then he glanced back at Penelope and Raina, looking for some sort of command. Nothing definite, no march was sounded in their wandering glances. Just him then. Likely fact was that neither girl recognized that familiar voice, the voice Ben had last definitively heard when he'd had himself a shitty plan and lungful and brainful of hot air.

Jerry. Ben felt a grimace coming on, wore it without pride. Ben wondered if it could have been an accident. Crime of passion. Maybe there hadn't been anyone to blame.

"... have they killed anyone yet? Like... That's a cliff that you can't just... come back from. Once you've made the plunge, it's not going to be easy to claw your way back up."

Penelope 2015. Something like that.

All Ben could soberly hope was that he'd never hear Jerry's name again. He let the distant cacophony of yells become the horizon, fading away like wounds into scars.


"Johnny was at the warehouse when I left. I... after dealing with Darius, I needed some time to cool down. Johnny probably didn't go far..."


"...Lili said her things were in the library. I don't know how much good it would do, but more supplies is always better than less..."


"...I don't have my heart set on following her or anything, but if we don't have any other plans..."

"Makes sense."


"Okay... so... here's an idea. We need friends if we want to get out or go out with our middle fingers up, right...?"

The gestures were a bit redundant.


"...Well, maybe after we go and get Johnny, we could try heading over to the bell tower near the asylum and like... keep ringing the bell until people come around."


"Say... Raina... Would you mind if we just... stayed here for a little while...?"


"...I've probably walked around this whole island twice over at this point. I think I could use... maybe an hour or two of relaxation? If you don't mind, of course..."


Ben's cue to keep looking away.

"You two go ahead. I'll keep watch."
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Raina nodded along absently with Penelope's brainstorming. "Someone did ring the bell, on the first day. We heard it in the asylum. Didn't go to investigate, though." That was when Scarlett and Beaks had gone running off. The last time she had ever seen Scarlett.

Had it been the bell that attracted her killer?

Penelope's request brought her back. "Yeah, sure, I don't mind if you wanna chill or something. Don't go climbing in the helicopter though, it's rickety." Ben chimed in, offering to keep watch while she and Penelope rested. She shrugged. "I'm not going to be getting any sleep, but thanks."

Raina eyed Ben up while Penelope got comfortable. "What about you?" She asked finally. "Any big ideas?" She assumed not, since he hadn't offered before now, but maybe he was just overbearingly polite.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Penelope quietly nodded at Raina's comment about the helicopter while motioning for her friend to sit down completely alongside her.

Her head soon found it resting on Raina's shoulder, her arms tucked around her body. It was chilly, with a breeze gently blowing over the top of the helipad, but for the first time since she got here she felt true warmth. She was here, with her friend. The person she had wanted most to find after her boyfriend. They were together again, even if it was only for fleeting moments in the grand scheme of things. In this moment, it was like they were back home. This was all that mattered, it was all that needed to matter.

Her eyes closed. The world around her slowly grew distant, her mind slipping away from this wretched place, its denizens, her troubles, and the best laid plans of mice and men.

She soon found herself lost in a wild, beautiful ocean of thought, her boat of consciousness sailing onward through it, with no true destination in mind. The sun glowed over the horizon as the warm, shimmering waters of knowledge rippled and hummed in response to the winds of perception catching her sails. Her chest of memory sat idly in her boat, waiting eagerly to gain new passengers.

Part of her had forgotten how much she missed these chances to simply think to herself. To let anything come to mind. Some of her best game ideas came during these moments of true clarity.

A small bottle with a note inside floated towards her boat. Picking it up out of the water, Penelope unfurled the message contained within.

"ARE YOU REALLY OKAY WITH THIS?"


Her eyelids twitched.

The boat rocked back and forth, as the waters grew slightly rougher, almost as if in response to the message. She didn't quite know what the message was talking about, or why she had found it. A second bottle was slowly approaching the side of her boat, waiting to be picked up. Placing the first bottle into her chest of memory, Penelope reached down and pulled the new bottle out of the water before glancing once again at the horizon. Small, wispy clouds could be seen over the horizon. She quickly unfurled the note, an uneasy discomfort starting to take over her thoughts.

"DO YOU EVEN UNDERSTAND WHAT THIS WOULD MEAN?"

A wave rolled underneath her boat, jostling it slightly and requiring her to hold onto its rails. Her head suddenly felt painful. She looked again at the horizon, the clouds having seemingly grown larger. The sun was slowly sinking below the edge of her ocean of thought.

Penelope reached down for another note, wanting to put these strangely uncomfortable, cryptic messages out of her mind. The new bottle was cracked, the note soggy as she pulled it out.

"I'M SCARED."


Her fingers curled more tightly around something that she was holding onto.

The waters grew fierce as black, billowing clouds took over the horizon. The sun was no longer shining, the waters were no longer inviting.

Notes in bottles seemingly swarmed her small vessel as lightning lit the void of her mind moment to moment.

She pulled bottle after bottle out of the waters, hoping to find something that would calm the increasingly violent sea.

"YOU HAVE TO STOP."

"PLEASE THINK OF OUR FAMILY."

"THE WORLD NEEDS US. WE ARE TOO IMPORTANT FOR THIS."

"WE CAN DO BETTER. WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE"

"THINGS DON'T HAVE TO END THIS WAY."

"PLEASE STOP."

The next note she pulled out was devoid of words, covered in only what seemed to be mindless scribbles.

Every note thereafter was similarly garbled and impossible to read. The storm grew closer to her boat as the ocean grew even more wild and dangerous.

Finally, a seemingly unique bottle was pulled from the now icy, vicious waters. It was cracked, and filled with waterlogged black sand, the note was as slimy as the sand mixture viscous, and Penelope spent several moments cleaning it of debris before she was able to read it.



"ARE YOU REALLY SURE YOU WANT US TO DIE?"



A wave crashed over Penelope's boat, knocking over her chest of memory, spilling thousands of bottles out of the seemingly bottomless box. As she sorted through these bottles trying to get them back inside, as the clouds twisted themselves into images of a small girl and her mother.

The clouds spoke in echoed, garbled tongues that were nonetheless intelligible.

"Mommy, where do people go after they die?"

The images of the mother contorted, becoming wild, twisting, spiral-like shapes.

'Well... sweetheart... I guess you can say that you don't go anywhere after you die.'

"But... how can someone not be anywhere? I thought... I thought everyone would always have to be somewhere."

The spirals twisted less violently, its swirls becoming gentle, possibly even thoughtful.

'Well... You weren't anywhere before you were born, right? Being dead is like that. Like... sleeping for a long time, with no dreams. Doesn't that make it sound nicer?'

"No... mommy that sounds scary."

The clouds began repeating the last few words that they echoed out, repeating over and over again only to become a deafening chorus.

Was it trying to tell her something? She understood that she was going to die soon. Raina's escape plan would never have a chance of succeeding, even if Penelope helped as much as she could manage. The end was nigh, no matter what the two of them did. Penelope was okay with th-

Waves crashed over the side of her boat as rain pounded her sails, the winds growing malevolent and tearing holes in it.

Another wave hit the boat, washing a bottle onto it and directly in front of Penelope. She picked it up and pulled out the crumpled, damp paper inside.

"WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO PROVE?"


Penelope twitched where she was, blatantly disturbed in her thoughts.

The voice of the clouds spoke up again, in a veritable symphony of vocal octaves of all kinds.

"WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO PROVE?"

It was shouting at her, angry. It wanted answers. It wanted blood.

She called out into the darkness, doing her best to make the storm cease. "I just want to make the best of a bad situation! I can't leave here, I'd never be able to live with myself!"

"WE ARE SCARED. YOU ARE SCARED. ADMIT IT."

Penelope curled up into a ball, her clothes getting soaked. She hid her face away from the dire clouds. She was okay with dying. She was okay with dying. Death wasn't scary, if anything it was just-

"ADMIT IT!" The clouds screamed at her, somehow even louder than before.

Tears rolled down her face, becoming one with the waters sinking her boat. "Fine... I'm scared... I don't... I don't want... I don't want to die. I want to live."

"I just... I just want to be back home." She said, her hands covering her face. "I want to see my sisters and my mom and my dad and I want to be able to spend time with Sam and I want to edit together silly meme images with Raina again and I want to message Emilia about my games and art again and..."

The clouds swirled down towards her, ominously enveloping her ship.

"I just want to go home."




Penelope opened her eyes with a start, her breathing heavy. She was lying down, her head resting on Raina's lap and being gently stroked by her friend's hand. Her own hand was clutched to Raina's leg, holding on fairly tightly.

She felt the urge to speak.

She stayed silent.
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"Big ideas huh. Well, in the past tense I had some. They only got me this shit, so..." Ben glanced back with a pivot and twist of his shitty posture, long enough to jab a finger at his wound. Deceptively clean and crisp linen hid the mess underneath still churning and broiling away the dregs of his life force.

"I don't have much else in the tank. I'm just here to help." It was his place. All that was left of his manliness was a thin strip of muscle, sweat and toil. The thoughts, words, had all eroded away.






Ben didn't know how much time had passed, needed himself a functioning brain to parse the continued tick-by-tick of the sun shearing the skin cells of whatever was left on that island.

He was seated with his stubby legs from the knee-down dangling over the edge of the helipad. Real quiet. He was pretty much alone with all of the thoughts he didn't have. He'd glanced back a few times. Two girls posed like that. Hm. Maybe kind of awkward, kind of attractive. Ben figured he didn't care either way.

This time when he glanced back Penelope was breathing a bit labored, suddenly. Sick? Would have been a disaster if she'd caught something. Ben raised an eyebrow, trying to catch Raina's eye. Gesture at Penelope. Not his job to be the one to say something. His body, mind, weren't useful for comfort.
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Raina spaced out a bit, let her mind wander. She didn't nod off, much as she wanted to. Penelope managed, at least. Ben didn't have anything to add and neither did Raina, for the time being.

Their moments of peace didn't last, though. Penelope started with a gasp, before very deliberately going still. Bad dream? Raina hoped that was all it was. Nightmares sucked but Penelope coming down with something would be worse. She caught Ben's eye and nodded, giving Penelope's shoulder a squeeze.

"Hey, how you doing?"
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Penelope rolled her head back to look up at Raina.

"Uh, well..." She said, before sitting up and rubbing her eyes. "I guess I dozed off for a bit there... I'm okay, don't worry."

She looked down at the ground, noticing that her skirt was slightly messed up and brushing it back down into position. She turned her head back towards Raina, before speaking. "R-really, I'm fine. H-honest."

She slowly fell into her friend, wrapping her arms around her once again. "Just a bad dream, is all..."

Her eyes once again drifted to the ground, unable to hold a solid gaze. She didn't want to acknowledge the deeper feelings that she had been repressing, only brought to the forefront by the dream. She needed to stay calm, for everyone. She was supposed to be the leader, even if she wasn't all that capable at it. She had to remain strong, and focused.

"...Were you guys okay while I was out?"
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Ben looked their way and they didn't return the favor. And that was how it was supposed to be.

He nodded when Penelope asked. Responding any other way was just mincing words with a rusty knife. Sleepy morning breakfast and bedhead shit, the sort of thing that no longer belonged or made sense.



"My sister would talk about her bad dreams when she had them. Made her feel better about that sort of thing, I dunno."

Ben stayed stoic for the camera.
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"Yeah, we're fine," Raina said, catching the hint that Penelope didn't really want to discuss whatever had gone through her unconscious mind. She stretched, all ready to suggest that they pack up and go grab Johnny from wherever he'd settled in near the warehouse, when Ben spoke up again. About his sister.

Raina didn't finch, not quite. Not on the outside. She hadn't thought about her family in a while. Someone would have told Cameron that she was missing by now. He'd probably be on his way home, or already there. His finals would have just ended. Leila had thrown some hissy fit that morning, something about Raina taking too long in the bathroom getting ready and how she needed to do her makeup, like a thirteen year old needed to even wear that much makeup.

She wondered how her parents were holding up. Work wouldn't have come to a stop just because some doctors' kid had gone missing. People were still getting sick and hurt in the real world, just like in their little fantasy bubble of violence here.

"...You don't have to talk about it if you don't want to, though." She said, quietly. At both of them. She didn't want to talk about her family, or the things that went through her head when the doubt bubbled up.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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"Y-yeah..." Penelope said, her voice slightly shaken. "I'd... rather not talk about it."

Penelope shook her head, as a symbolic attempt at shaking off her worry. "Really, I'm fine." She pressed her head against Raina, nuzzling her slightly. "Honest."

She stayed briefly quiet, considering what she wanted to say before she spoke. "I guess..." She began, her voice calmer and slightly more alert. "Since I got some time to rest, we could go get Johnny, right?" She tightened her hug around her friend, not quite wanting yet to let go. Being in close proximity to Raina was too comforting for her to really want to stop, even if the two of them would remain together afterwards. She nuzzled her head against Raina again before continuing, her voice quiet. "If you want to wait a little longer though, I wouldn't mind."
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Ben knew well enough by now that there were times when there was nothing to be said. He said nothing else.

His face remained crudely chiseled stone. He continued to look in their general direction, though it was really a pointless ass gesture.
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"Yeah, yeah, we should go get Johnny eventually. Who knows where he'll wander off to."

Ben was starting with the awkward thousand-yard stare again, so it might benefit them to get moving even if they didn't rush back to the warehouse. "Can't believe I'm saying this, but some exercise out in the fresh air sounds pretty good right now." Raina grinned a little, nose wrinkling slightly in mock disgust.

"Do you feel well enough to get up and walk around?"
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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"Yeah, I think so, " Penelope began, her voice still quiet. "We might want to rest a little more when we get there but... otherwise I'm okay."

Walking around would probably do her some good after that relatively traumatic nightmare. Taking her mind away from the monsters from the id that were slowly gnawing away at her psyche could only be a good thing.

She stood herself up off of Raina, taking a moment to dust her skirt off before helping her sleep deprived friend to her feet. She looked at Ben after scooping up her bag, before giving him a warm, knowing smile and patting him on the shoulder.

"Let's go!" She chirped, before moving over to the stairwell leading down to the ground, doing her best to ignore the nearby charred body. She turned to face her friends, waiting for them to grab their belongings and join her while keeping a smile plastered on her face. She was doing her best to and keep spirits as high as they could realistically be kept in a situation like this, but she wasn't sure if her true feelings were shining through her positive facade.

Once they were all ready, Penelope began carefully stepping down the aged stairs. It was time to move on and accomplish as much as they could with the remaining daylight, in spite of the id that wants her to give up in her quest.

((Penelope Fitzgerald continued in Haemolacria))
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Penelope still didn't sound quite right even when her voice slid back to it's soda fizz cheer, but what the fuck did Ben know, so on. He was a bit surprised his arm didn't fall the fuck off when Penelope deigned to remind Ben his mortality was still vaguely relevant.

It felt alright. Warm, fleshy where she touched. Pillsbury Doughboy kinda shit.

He grabbed his supplies. They weighed about the same, lighter than days before but also sitting on muscles weaker than days before. As he slid the strap of the bag onto his shoulder and watched Penelope smile their way he glanced at Raina briefly, desiccated neurons firing before he could remember the ashes and dust clogging up his mouth.

"Sorry. I normally don't come off like this, but... circumstances."

Excuses, that's what it was.

((Ben Fields, continued in Haemolacria))
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