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If That's Who I Am, Then I'll Fight Who I Am; Night, Day 5 (private)
Topic Started: Feb 15 2017, 06:35 PM (1,188 Views)
Zetsumodernista
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escaping the real world to face reality
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
((Asuka continued from Mystic River))

The finale was over in an instant. Asuka watched numbly as Scout walked forward, flipped Alvaro over, watched as one died and the other became a killer and then the other girl dissolved into tears.

So this is how it feels like to be mentally traumatized.

She had to do something, had to make sure this memory was burned into her head for the rest of her life. Asuka shuffled forward, then half-ran half-stumbled in before her instincts could pull a dirty trick and make her run away. Scout and the other girl were talking and voices were being raised and it was making Asuka want to leave--wasn't that funny?--but her legs were doing their job, taking her closer even as the rest of her body and mind screamed for her to stop. Was it all a misunderstanding? Did Scout kill Alvaro at the worst time, right as the girl was about to talk him down, ending his story as a tragedy right before he could redeem himself? Oh, why had she agreed to this, who was she to decide that telling her story was worth the end of his, fuck you Scout for doing this and fuck you Asuka for not trying to do something to stop her.

The other girl said something that sounded like an apology. That meant everything was okay, right?

Of fucking course not. Don't you dare try to slip out of this one, don't you dare even try to convince yourself that you're blameless here because even if you are why the hell is that your concern right now.

She awkwardly reached out a trembling hand to pat the girl's head, mumbled something like ssh it's okay it's not your fault and it all sounded so dumb and phony but that's why physical contact was a thing, right? Maybe human touch couldn't actually make up for anything that words couldn't say, but it'd tell the girl that something was missing, that she'd meant to tell her something that hadn't been delivered. Because Asuka meant it. Really. She tried to make eye contact with Scout, tried to glare at her, but Asuka had never been able to do that kind of thing and her eyes slid off of Scout's face and onto

Oh.

That did the trick, the sight of exposed meat dripping out of Alvaro searing itself into her brain forever, and she could look at Alvaro and she could look at the bullet holes in him but now she was taking in both and she felt her stomach clench, the bile rising in her throat, and she was telling herself--not on the corpse not on the corpse not on Alvaro oh god she has to step back she has to unfreeze her legs and uproot her feet and, oh, she felt bad for thinking of it as just a corpse, like he was nothing more than a sack of decomposing meat. Of course it was, even if he wasn't--and that wasn't a him anymore--but it was still imbued with the idea of Alvaro, with the idea of a real person and all the baggage that entails, and that was still something worth respecting because if she didn't then it'd be all too easy to feel less than she already did, because if she stopped reminding herself that that corpse was a person--even if it wasn't--then she would stop thinking of the person it used to be as a person and she knows exactly where that road leads. So no, she couldn't vomit on Scout or Audrey and definitely not on Alvaro, so she took a couple steps back and now the world's spinning around her, she wobbles, falls, ass landing in the pool of blood and she feels her head pitching forward, fucking god why

Her body shook, spasmed, and she gasped for air as she dry-heaved.

dear god dear god tinkle tinkle hoy

G056: Asuka Takahara: The one who can out-pretentious them all.
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Zetsumodernista
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escaping the real world to face reality
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
No, she didn't have to get up. She could, of course, a freshly dead corpse wasn't all that different from how they looked inside movies, so it wasn't really all that disgusting or horrifying as long as you focused on how fucking accurate those movie corpses were. And Asuka had gotten through those movies fine, and even if they hadn't gotten the amount of blood exactly right and there was just something about a living, breathing actor that just didn't look dead it was close enough that the difference was largely academic, was whatever the visual equivalent of semantics was, but that wasn't the point. She's not supposed to get over it, to get up and keep her mind off the fact that a unique something that meant nothing to the universe but who cares what the universe thinks she's gonna fucking care and if she focuses on anything other than the fact that yeah, someone died in front of her, how can life be sacred?

Scout's voice grated on her ears. She had gotten over it easily enough, apparently. Good for fucking her. She did what needed to be done, so of course that means she doesn't have to feel bad about it now. Or was she hiding it? Or maybe the reality of it all hadn't hit her yet? Pathetically, Asuka obeyed, choking her dry-heaves with coughing, shakily rising to her feet--no, Scout, she's not gonna show you how weak she is by grabbing you for balance, don't even think about yelling at her about that--and all the while she kept her eyes on the corpse, because that gesture has to mean something, right? Asuka might not be strong enough to actually ignore what Scout was saying, but man was she good at that symbolic resistance thing that nobody ever notices and that didn't really cost her anything.

"I'm fine."

She could shove Scout onto Alvaro's body, force her to get up close and personal with her kill. Scout was stronger than her, and it probably wouldn't work even if she could do it. Not that she should do it, either. Scout's mental health mattered more than Alvaro's memory. For all she knew Scout was a deeply screwed up person and what she really needed was a hug. If that's what it was, Asuka wasn't really up to give her one.

She could give the other girl one, though. She probably needed it more.

Asuka reached out an arm, stopped. Let it fall. They were both covered in blood, and they were strangers, and who knows how the other girl would react to this, and Asuka had been in enough similar situations--less extreme, obviously, but similar nevertheless--to know that she's making excuses when really she's just too shy and scared to do anything but stand frozen and barely responsive but she still can't make herself do it. Even if she really needs a hug too.

In a small voice: "What's your name? Were you guys...?"
dear god dear god tinkle tinkle hoy

G056: Asuka Takahara: The one who can out-pretentious them all.
- Memories: 1
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Zetsumodernista
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escaping the real world to face reality
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
"...that's what I think."

Of all things, that line was what gave Asuka pause.

A couple lifetimes or days or maybe it was hours ago, Asuka had been riding the bus back from school, surrounded by freshman--it was times like those that made her wish she'd had the motivation to go and get her driver's license, except she couldn't be motivated to find the motivation to get her driver's license. It wasn't that she hated being surrounded by freshman, or even surrounded by people, but she'd been tired, then, and they'd been talking gossip, which had made her even more tired, and she'd gone ahead and lain down on the bench, staring at the bus roof as the bus shook and rattled along and the roof shook and rattled over her head and looking at it made her feel nauseous and on the whole this sleeping on the bus thing was actually pretty uncomfortable but fuck it!--she had appearances to keep up. There'd been two girls in front of her, talking about some other girl, and one of them had gone, "It's, like, she's beautiful on the outside but ugly on the inside, is what I think". She’d said it unironically, too. It'd made Asuka want to melt into the bus bench.

How dare Scout sound like a shitty soap opera. How dare she cheapen the moment like this.

Good to know that that memory hadn’t come out of nowhere. And wasn’t fixating on weird things typical in times of trauma anyways? Which is why people so often have weird triggers and such--like that story of the woman who got triggered by eggs because she made him eggs for breakfast after he fucked with her real bad. This was normal. She was normal. She was okay, and fucked in the head, and that’s okay--she’s okay.

Scout wasn’t okay. Scout was fucked in the head. Even Asuka knows that you’re not supposed to tell someone off right after killing their friend--a confirmed murderer, yes--in front of them. And that was okay, everyone’s fucked up to begin with and the island could only be fucking them up more and at the end of the day you love them all the same because, hey, look at Scout, she’s fucked up but she’s not a bad guy--well, bad girl, but that has a weird and different set of connotations--she’s not a bad person, is what she’s saying. Fucked-up and complex and therefore beautiful, Asuka was sure of it, but it all looks so ugly unless she concentrates on the right things--things that existed only in her imagination, because at the end of the day Asuka didn’t know how Scout was complex. Conceptualizing that Scout was complex--that would have to do. Because what she actually experienced was a red-headed meatsack yelling pointlessly at another meatsack, and there’s nothing about that which feels real.

"Just...stop it, Scout."

Stop. In the name of realizing Asuka’s reality in some tangible way, stop.

"It's...it's not supposed to work like that!"
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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Zetsumodernista
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escaping the real world to face reality
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
The rhetoric of reality. Oh, Scout was really doing it. Time to grow up and face reality. That's what this was all about, right? Time for you to learn what a harsh, cruel world you live in, time to learn that if you're not harsh and cruel right back you'll be a victim.

Asuka clenched her fists. How dare she, how dare she tell Asuka of the nature of reality. Because her worldview's so fucking objective. Because of course reality only really consists of the universe where you eat, kill, fuck, and die, and when you strip it all down until all you're left with is the core everything else is just window dressing. That's what's real to Scout, huh?

What Asuka's thinking probably goes without saying, but let's not leave it as something to be assumed, let's make a special occasion for this thought: Fuck her.

She didn't really feel better for doing that, though. Asuka rolled her shoulders back, tried to let out the tension. Breathe in, out. It wasn't helpful or meaningful to feel angry about something like this.

Audrey. She'd said her name was Audrey. She was talking to Asuka.

"I..."

No. As much as she'd like to think so, she hadn't done anything for Audrey.

"Really, I just couldn't stand her anymore..."

She sighs.

"Sorry it all went down like that."

A question, now.

"Not really much that works out well between us, so probably not, I guess."

A gesture at Alvaro's body: "Were you...close?"

It feels insensitive to ask, but this was the kind of thing Asuka had to know.
dear god dear god tinkle tinkle hoy

G056: Asuka Takahara: The one who can out-pretentious them all.
- Memories: 1
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Zetsumodernista
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escaping the real world to face reality
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Random bits of advice crossed Asuka's mind, useless for anything but making her feel helpful.

When someone is in shock, have them lie down in the shade and raise their feet about a twelve inches off the ground.

Like she would've done anything even if she did have something legitimate to offer. Philosophy, maybe. Talk about how meaningful and beautiful the ugliness is, and it becomes meaningful and beautiful. Because of course it would console Audrey after she'd lost her crush--no, don't dramatize a relationship that Audrey's downplaying, don't aid and abet their narrative. And don't talk about stuff that you want to talk about under the pretext of helping someone with their trauma.

"It's fine. Take it easy."

What else could she say, though? An awkward 'oh', a painfully loud pause, and then another, and then nothing, because at the end of the day Asuka doesn't know a thing about playing armchair psychiatrist for someone who'd just lost a friendly acquaintance.

What comes out are platitudes. Harmless, but she still feels dirty saying them.

"I mean, you couldn't have done anything, right? Like, you tried, at least. But..."

There's nothing you could've done to help him. That's what would've finished out that cliche storm. Except she didn't know how Audrey was gonna take a comment like that about a guy she maybe-sorta liked, and she didn't believe it anyways, didn't believe it because...philosophy. Mental gymnastics.

Fuck her. Figures that the only thing she's good for has nothing to do with the real world. She was a stranger in a strange land here, or her body was, intruding, a spy sent by her ego to infiltrate a place filled with other spies sent by other egos. Shame they all bothered with the whole spy thing, seeing as it ruined the whole point of infiltration. Can't corrupt this place with her ego, with all the egos, when they were all being so weird about it.

Here's an idea: let's get us all the fuck out of here. Then it wouldn't just be for Asuka's sake, and her selfishness wouldn't be quite so bad.

"I guess you can't exactly blame him, either, for what's happening. Or anyone else, really. I don't like to think of this place as, like, telling us the truth about ourselves and how much we suck. If anything, this place is a master class on how good people can fuck each other up. Not to imply that you fucked him up or anything. But, uh..."

C'mon, relate back to your point. At least let yourself pretend that you're doing this to help someone. Or if you can't pretend to yourself, at least actually help someone.

"...long story short, we're probably all okay even though we're all gonna die?"

dear god dear god tinkle tinkle hoy

G056: Asuka Takahara: The one who can out-pretentious them all.
- Memories: 1
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Zetsumodernista
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escaping the real world to face reality
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
"I mean, I guess I get it, but...uh..."

Silly of her to worry about it, but Asuka wasn't sure she actually got the joke. Was misanthropy the punchline? Or was it reverse-misanthropy?

For long seconds, she stared at Audrey's shoes. "Huzzah for us for being fucked up, I guess?"

Asuka didn't really know what to say past that. Audrey had sorta agreed, sorta disagreed with her, and she didn't feel articulate enough right now to defend her points. Not like she had anything better to say, though.

"I guess what I meant was, none of us are actually, like, evil or anything. We're fucked up, everybody's fucked up a little, but that's not reason to call down fire and brimstone and throw us in hell, cuz we're still decent, and we're fucked up, but it's good that we're fucked up, and then you have decent but fucked up people fucking other people up and it's beautiful cuz it's so fucked up, right? It's a right little tragedy. Bad things happen to good people because good people do bad things to good people."
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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Zetsumodernista
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escaping the real world to face reality
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
"Um. Okay."

But were they really on the same page? It'd be kinda anticlimactic if they were, if they had really understood each other so easily, because in what world could you figure out where somebody was coming from if you didn't know, like, really know, the person? Only really happened with soulmates, and Asuka didn't feel like Audrey was a soulmate. She didn't feel dreamy, didn't feel the kind of affirmation that made her blood rush and her thoughts race until her body was left far behind, a tiny speck in the distance that she was barely aware of. No. She could feel the sweat slowly drying on her arms, the blood seeping through her jeans. She was here, she was present. Which meant that she was alone-- at least, on an emotional level.

Oh, Asuka, you fucking emo. A true emo wouldn't care how emo they looked, though. She had a ways to go.

Asuka hated how conversations always seemed to dry up every time she tried to get to know someone, hated how she could never push herself through her awkwardness whenever the conversation started to dry up. All imagined, all in her head, because who gives a fuck about all that this point. But Asuka's stuck in her head. There's a good cosmic joke in there. Because hey, even if she dies alone and unfulfilled, she'll at least get to die a grandiosely pathetic death. Nihilism had a beauty all its own.

She didn't feel all that nihilistic, though, was the thing. She wasn't being crushed under despair and meaninglessness.

You're going to die alone, no one has or ever will understand you, you will never leave a notable mark on the world, and your life will have been devoid of meaning or fulfillment.

Nothing.

You can conceptualize that your life has meaning, but if you do not feel that meaning then your conceptualization is meaningless and you are nobody.

She tensed, waiting for chills to run up her spine, tears come to her eyes, pulse quicken, something. Anything. Still nothing. But she could do Ligotti one better.

You can conceptualize that your life is meaningless, but if you do not feel that meaninglessness then your conceptualization is meaningless and you are less than nobody.

Goddammit. Asuka knew she had no right to feel this way, no right to lament on her feelings when all around her people were dying and getting fucked up watching and hearing about their friends getting killed and killing but that's the thing, wasn't it? Asuka was jealous of them. She would do anything to be Alvaro, to be Scout or Penelope or Audrey, to be a something, a somebody, rather than an empty shell of nothing, barely there.

Asuka gripped her arms. Her grasp tightened, her fingernails biting into her skin.

She knew where this line of thought went, and the concerns were kinda different. But still. She'd be damned if she died alone. She'd be damned if she didn't at least feel sad when it came time for her to die alone.

((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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