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Mystic River.; private. evening, day 4.
Topic Started: Feb 6 2017, 06:20 PM (324 Views)
Ciel
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"Thatís not a prediction, thatís a spoiler.Ē
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
(Scout Pfeiffer continued from The List of Adrian Messenger.)

Alvaro Vacanti. Alessio Rigano. Nancy Kyle. Isabel Ramirez. Kimiko Kao.

There had to be a cut-off point. Scout's mind was sharp, her memory even more so, but the names were beginning to stack. She wasn't going to remember all of these names, carry that weight. She had neither pen nor paper so she could not write the names down, so there had to be a point where she could comfortably nod and say 'that was enough'.

Besides. If she started marking every two-time killer, that would defeat the entire purpose of her list.

Tomorrow. Cut-off point is tomorrow. She decided it right then and there.

Scout stood near the precipice, staring out at the horizon for lord knows how long. The gusts of wind were strong but the fencing provided some safety from dropping and cracking her head on the rocks jutting out at sea level. Of course, if someone pushed her, the fencing might give out. It looked like it could support her weight but she did not want to test that theory.

Despite the loud gusts of wind, Scout could hear the sounds of feet crunching against gravel. At first she wondered if her mind was playing tricks, but now she was certain someone else was their. Were they inching towards her, unsure whether to approach her? Or were they just shuffling their feet like a meek mouse? Regardless of the circumstances, it was starting to piss Scout off.

. . .

So she had two choices: wait for them to make a move or make the move for them.

When you consider where to begin, it will become too late to do so.

"So," Scout spoke up, cleared her throat, "You going to say anything? Or are you going to stand there with a thumb up your ass?"
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Zetsumodernista
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escaping the real world to face reality
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
((Asuka continued from The List of Adrian Messenger))

Short though she was, Scout still cut a bit of dramatic figure, staring out over the cliff, looking all byronic-hero-like.

Figures that she'd be an asshole.

Asuka felt her body clenching its teeth, balling its fists. Against her will, of course. It was stupid to get worked up over this. But, seriously, why the fuck did Scout feel the need to say that? Yeah, life was pretty shitty for all of them right now, you did what you needed to to deal, but there wasn't any point in making it more shitty.

Well. There were worse things on the island than assholes.

She sighed. "I figured that, since the lot of us are gonna die, I might as well try to get to know as many of you as I could before I...y'know."

Funny, she thought she'd reconciled herself to the idea.

"If you want me to fuck off, fine. I've had my fair share of assholes already, and I'd rather not die hating you. Give me the word, and I'll leave you alone to piss people off until some dumbass has enough and decides that you need to die. Just...don't kill anyone, please."

She'd missed out on getting to know people in high school. This was her pathetic excuse of a last chance, her last chance to discover whole universes that would otherwise never be explored. If it turned out that she didn't want to get to know them, though? Then, well. Asuka was perfectly content with dying as she lived. Not exactly, but nevertheless.

She shuffled forward until she was at the fence, approaching Scout while keeping her distance, respecting her space. Five feet to the left, seems right. She let the silence stretch on. Was it one of those comfortable silences?

Asuka let her gaze wander over the horizon, let herself relax. Enjoy the view.

With a little bit of work, it was--could be--one of those, yeah.
dear god dear god tinkle tinkle hoy

G056: Asuka Takahara: The one who can out-pretentious them all.
- Memories: 1
- Pregame: 1
- V6: 1-2
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Ciel
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"Thatís not a prediction, thatís a spoiler.Ē
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Scout looked over her shoulder at the girl from before.

"... Did I say you were pissing me off?"

No, she did not. The fact that she was, in fact, pissing her off was irrelevant. Scout did not communicate that. She wasn't the communicating type. Her face was stony and her head was canted slightly. She studied the girl, again, for the second time.

She said nothing. The other girl approached the fence and the two of them fell into silence again. Scout stared at the girl before returning to the horizon.

Scout sensed she was being followed but she wasn't one-hundred percent sure. Whoever was following her meant her no harm, clearly. There were plenty of chances to rush at her. Gun her down. Or maybe the girl did not follow her at all, and Scout's mind was playing tricks. Whatever. That wasn't important. The important question was why she felt the need to approach Scout at all. Was she a lost puppy or something? Did her friend ditch her?

Yeah. No way she was asking her that.

She mulled over what the girl had said before. 'Just don't kill anybody,' she said. 'Please,' she said. Scout wondered if that actually mattered to the girl. She did not get the sense that her new companion was well-liked by her peers... Not that Scout had any place to judge.

Scout sighed.

"Hate to disappoint you, but I'm planning to kill. I haven't, but I'm planning."

There was a pause.

"I'm not going to hurt you. Unless your name's Kao."

Scout put emphasis on that last word. 'Kao.' It rolled off Scout's tongue playfully. This girl did not look like a 'Kao.'
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Zetsumodernista
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escaping the real world to face reality
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Shit.

Silence, and deafening winds. Just spirit Asuka's mind away, to a land far far away. Set her down in her dreams, in a noumenal world, in a fantasy wonderland paradise where people don't stutter their lines out and their lines aren't stupid banal fluff and you can stare out over a cliff by the seaside, wind in your hair, the crashing of waves filling your ears, and everything behind you feels so long ago and everything before you feels

The illusion was broken. She'd let the silence stretch on too long. Now all she saw was two high school girls standing behind an ugly fence, waiting for something to happen.

"Yeah. Well. Um. I'm not. Kimiko Kao, I mean. I'm not her."

There it goes, shattered completely. No wonder she so rarely felt alive.

She shifted her feet a little, pebbles crunching underneath her sneakers. There was something hyper-real about this, about how she was aware of her every single little movement, the way the uneven footing threatened to make her lose her balance, the way that one strand of her blew in her eye and made her want to brush it away, except her arm felt frozen. The way her eyes were sore because she'd left her contacts in for too long. Usually all that just faded into the background.

Well, so much for living in the moment. Let's focus on the kind of thing Asuka usually focuses on, shall we? Especially since focusing on that would actually be useful here. This was a really big fucking deal, killing someone. A really, really big fucking deal. A really--okay, so she doesn't want to get around to actually thinking about it. Breathe. Now forget that you're breathing.

Asuka was, in theory, a utilitarian. If you try to kill her, or her friends, or some innocent she doesn't know, she'd kick your ass and blow your brains out. No, seriously. Nothing really matters, anyways, so you do whatever you gotta do to take care of the stuff you care about. And so on. In a death game like this, saving lives by killing killers was simple arithmetic. No societal impacts, no unforeseen side effects to worry about here. No, this was about as close as she was gonna get to an idealized thought experiment. Pure and perfect and golden.

Killing kids was never that simple, though. Sure, she could whip up a justification that fit it into her existing system. Like, they'd forfeited their realness by playing the game. They weren't real people. They were abstracts. Characters. Not real, or something. Nothing terrible about putting them down. Except she doesn't buy that, and she doesn't know what to do to make herself buy that. Mental gymnastics could only take her so far.

Give her some time to think this through. Stall. Stall for as long as you can. And while you're at it, find out if there's a chance that this thing's actually gonna happen in the first place.

Asuka said, without affect, "Do you have any weapons to do it with?"
dear god dear god tinkle tinkle hoy

G056: Asuka Takahara: The one who can out-pretentious them all.
- Memories: 1
- Pregame: 1
- V6: 1-2
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Ciel
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"Thatís not a prediction, thatís a spoiler.Ē
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Nothing wrong with that. As long as you keep your head down, you'll do fine. I think."

You think? Tch. Scout wanted to give the stranger some semblance of comfort but she ended up doing the complete opposite. With a shrug of a shoulder she threw her bag over her shoulder again. Then she reached for the handle in her hoodie pocket.

"No." Scout pulled out the bonesaw, clutching it in her right hand. She reconsidered, appraising it for a moment. "Maybe. I dunno. I could probably kill someone with this if I'm lucky."

She needed a gun, Scout knew. A gun, or some form of proper defense. A sword, a bad, fuck, even a hammer could get the job done. The bonesaw was sharp, sure, but the work end wasn't exactly intimidating. A good, hard swipe across the throat could kill someone, maybe. Otherwise Scout would be better off just choking them with her bare hands. Scout had thought a lot about her plans, doubting, second-guessing. To think she actually thought she could get by with the saw. Stupid.

Her companion did not need to hear any of that nonsense though. She sheathed the saw back into her pocket.

"I'm not just going to kill just anyone though. I'm going after the biggest threats, the ones who caved in. I figure if only one of us is going home, I want it to be someone who has a spine. But plans mean shit all if I can't back them up...

"It's just, whatever."

There was more to it than that. Scout's motives, her list of names, the growing weight in her belly that just would not quit. But, again, the girl beside her did not need to know that. Scout turned her head again, looking at the stranger, appraising her again just as she did with her bonesaw.

"Name's Scout by the way," Scout said.
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Zetsumodernista
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escaping the real world to face reality
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
"Mmm. Asuka."

Scout seemed self-aware enough about her limitations that Asuka could take her seriously. And now this was a thing. This was a thing, and she was here for it, and it was happening in front of her. Take a deep breath. It's gonna be a long time before she's gonna get to do that again.

See? Already her breathing's getting shallow, and she hasn't even done a fucking thing. What kind of narrative are you making, Asuka? Is it deep and meaningful? What deep and meaningful stuff are you gonna do? Do you get to be a hero, an anti-hero, a knight templar extremist?

Hey, Asuka, how about you try to be a real person instead of some dumb archetype. How about you tell a story that you'd actually be willing to read.

Hey, Asuka, about you try to tell an actual story instead of sitting there, quivering, pencil in hand and paper blank because you're too fucking scared that you're not being original, that you're not being authentic. No. Not authentic. Say it like this: ~authentic~. There, now you're being self-deprecating about it. Dignity preserved.

Hey, Asuka, why don't you try throwing dignity to the winds for once. Why don't you stop halfway doing all the things that you unironically want to do but you're worried you won't be able to take yourself seriously if you actually go all out. Who the fuck cares, anyways? She's about to die. She's allowed to be as much of a fucking melodramatic bitch as she wants to be. Just, y'know. As long as she wasn't melodramatic about the petty stuff. But if it's grandiose and meaningful and dreamy and it makes a hell of a statement, then Asuka was gonna be over the top as she wants to be. Fuck her dignity.

Hey. Asuka. You're doing good here, talking to yourself like this. Just one more question: Why don't you want to do the things that you want to do? Why can't your body, your corporeal manifestation, why can't it impersonate you? Or, rather, since you're currently inhabiting your body: why can't you impersonate yourself when you're in the real world?

Why couldn't Asuka be the next Holden Caufield, the Laughing Man, the Rorschach, the Lain Iwakura, the Punpun Onodera? You laugh, because none of them exist in the real world, but the real world was made to be escaped from anyways. The worlds inside people's heads were always gonna be more real than the real world, and this was the closest she was gonna get to sharing dreams--and nightmares, thoughts and feelings-- with another person, because this was Fictionland in Real Life and they were all about to step out into the abyss together.

Sometimes, if you gaze too long into the abyss, the abyss will sweep you up and spirit you away on an adventure.

So she's gonna say something now, cuz she's left Scout hanging for too long while having this little conversation with herself, and she's gonna say it with aplomb, with elan, with fire in her eyes and her heart on her sleeve, and maybe it's all still in her head but fuck it her head's in the clouds right now and she's gonna put this whole fucking nightmare into her head and make a heaven of hell, she's gonna say it like this:

"I'm in."

Anti-climatic. As was her aesthetic.
dear god dear god tinkle tinkle hoy

G056: Asuka Takahara: The one who can out-pretentious them all.
- Memories: 1
- Pregame: 1
- V6: 1-2
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Ciel
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"Thatís not a prediction, thatís a spoiler.Ē
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Scout was taken aback. She was not expecting her to say that. More to do with the fact that Scout did not make any sort of offers. Asuka was 'in' though? She didn't even know the full story, and she was 'in'? Just like that?

"Sure. Whatever."

For some reason she was reluctant to believe her. That might have had more to do with Noah's previous reaction to her plan. She wasn't going to ask Asuka if she was being serious. Something inside of Scout was afraid of the answer.

Her shoulders hunched, Scout idly rubbed at her arm. The air was cold and stale. Everything on this fucking island was stale. Not even the ocean smelled salty. Nothing but shades of gray clouds and rusted buildings. It gave everything a distinctly surreal vibe. Scout realized that since the first day, when she was standing at the roof of a building and stared over the entire island. There was something wrong with this island, something other than teenage murder.

Too stuffy, Scout thought. She relaxed her shoulders. Let out a deep sigh.

"... Hey. Asuka."

Scout turned back to the girl. She looked her new partner in the face and smiled.

"You hear this one before? 'How's a banana like a penis?' "
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Zetsumodernista
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Phew. Momentary gravitas dispelled.

Asuka had started to wonder if Scout was totally humorless, but it figured that she would go through some character development. Well, character reveal. Scout was already a complex person, even if Asuka couldn't see all of that. You're only the main character of your own story, Asuka. That's the whole point of your time on the island.

So maybe the joke's a little stupid. A banana is innuendo for a penis, ohohohoho. So what? It might not be a good sense of humor, but it's a sense of humor, and Asuka hadn't even been willing to give Scout credit for that. Why was she like that? Why couldn't she fucking give people a chance, see them as what they might be rather than what they appear to be?

Gravitas was setting back in. The least she could do was try to respect the mood.

"Umm. There's no way I'm getting either of 'em before I die?"

A little too self-pitying, but too late to worry about...no, not too late.

She gave a shrug. "It's okay, I guess. Don't really...like...either of them too much."

Fuck dignity, right?
dear god dear god tinkle tinkle hoy

G056: Asuka Takahara: The one who can out-pretentious them all.
- Memories: 1
- Pregame: 1
- V6: 1-2
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Ciel
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"Thatís not a prediction, thatís a spoiler.Ē
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
. . . Scout squinted at Asuka. Squinted very hard.

Scout was the main character in her own story and the star of the movie adaptation. It was a drama, not a comedy. Hence why she stole a joke from Noah. The air was becoming very awkward so she thought that a joke would relieve the tension in the air. Clearly Scout thought wrong. She cringed at Asuka's joke, inwardly. She tried not to let it show because, well, she didn't know. Wasn't like she owed Asuka anything, less of all pity laughter.

"She forced a wry-looking smile. "Me neither. But that's --"

... Wait. Okay. Fuck. Jesus, this was awkward. Beyond awkward. Scout's shoulders slumped. She rubbed her arm. That was supposed to be a joke, but Asuka decided to no-sell it and make things even more awkward. And then Scout just had to turn it up another notch.

She smirked, damn near laughed. Whatever. Fuck dignity. Fuck 'getting the joke'. Asuka didn't seem to care, Scout sure as hell didn't.

"... They're both better peeled back. That's what they have in common."

Scout shouldered her bag again, making her way over to her 'partner'. She tapped Asuka on the arm, motioned away from the cliff. Scout figured they might as well get going. Find some place less open. As she made the move to leave, she glanced over her shoulder. Didn't want to leave Asuka in the dust like her other friend did.

"Well. I thought it was funny," Scout muttered.

(Scout Pfeiffer continued in If That's Who I Am, Then I'll Fight Who I Am.)
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Zetsumodernista
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escaping the real world to face reality
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
"Sorry. I'm done."

Crash. And burn. Why does Asuka have to be so bad?

((Asuka continued elsewhere))
dear god dear god tinkle tinkle hoy

G056: Asuka Takahara: The one who can out-pretentious them all.
- Memories: 1
- Pregame: 1
- V6: 1-2
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