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Haemolacria; Late Day 5; Tagging Zarina, Cicada, and Mr. Mystery!
Topic Started: Feb 27 2017, 08:35 PM (756 Views)
VoltTurtle
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The girl who dreams on the back of a giant space turtle.
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((Penelope Fitzgerald continued from Hemochromatosis))

Penelope sat down near the fence lining the northwest cliffs, her friends not far behind her.

Actually getting to the warehouse had been difficult, due to the placement of the nearby danger zone. Their circuitous route to reach it had brought them to the cliffs, and Penelope's legs had gotten awfully tired.

She sat down on the cool grass, with the sounds of waves crashing against the cliffs below and the smell of the sea relaxing her. It reminded her of the few times that her family had gone on vacation to the coasts of California.

What she would give to be home with them again...

Penelope turned back to her companions, who had finally caught up with her, and spoke. "I think... I think we should rest here for a little bit."
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((Raina Rose continued from Hemochromatosis))

Rest sounded good. Despite the jokes she had made back on the helipad, Raina really wasn't the outdoorsy type. The progress she and Johnny had made once they finally left the asylum had been slow and halting, and that was without the added issue of the Danger Zone inhibiting their movement. Better to steer clear of most unfamiliar structures for now, if they couldn't be sure what was and wasn't part of the restricted area.

"Fine by me," she said, and plopped down in the grass next to Penelope. At least it was drier than yesterday. She once again lamented the fact that she didn't have a change of clothes, with all the dirt and grass stains that were starting to accumulate, not to mention stale sweat. If not for Ben's presence, Raina would have considered suggesting that she and Penelope find somewhere private and attempt to wash their clothes or something.

As it was, she had to deal. Ah well. At least they were somewhat closer to the warehouse now. Hopefully Johnny hadn't wandered off. She didn't think he would, it wasn't like he had much of a purpose on his own.
"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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Cicada Days
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((Ben Fields continued from Hemochromatosis))

His brain was a tricky and treacherous little shit. Put him up against all kinds of thoughts and not a one mattered one bit. Shit like 'what sort of path these two were leading all of us down' or 'what sort of judgments were being passed on that short dude on the viewers screen' or 'what stupid shit was Lana doing while waiting for him to come home like she always did because he always did but not this time no sir'...

None of it mattered, he had to remind himself.

All that mattered was the blunt projectile he continued to cradle in one cramping hand. His gift from the earth, his gift and offering to his allies. Allies. Officers. Commanders. Something along those lines, because he definitely wasn't so sure about the word friends. He tossed the rock up into the air, idly. Was almost too slow to catch it when gravity returned it to his ungrateful ass.

"We've had a bit of a walk." Not an especially effective way of voicing his agreement, but too late he'd already said it, so on. He wondered how Raina and Penelope were holding up. They were both prettier than the duct taped tinder-stick hunk of meat he called his mortal vessel, sure. But he hardly recalled seeing either of them around the dugouts or courts of Cochise. Neither of them were looking so vital. To say nothing of the smell.

As in, to thoroughly say nothing.

"Nice view. Guess this is one thing we never had much of back home." Ben didn't even get to admire the view all that much. Once in a lifetime sight, but the remainder of his particular lifetime had to be dedicated to vigilance. Eyes over the shoulder, not on the sea. His fingers looped around and through a section of the fence chain, fragile and dry skin chafing and peeling until he almost bled. "We also didn't have too much in the way of underage guns and deaths in old Kingman. Trade off, I suppose."
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Penelope nodded along to what Ben was saying, her eyes affixed to a vague shape in the distance.

"Y-yeah," she began, absentmindedly. "I'd take Kingman over this any day."

The vague shape grew closer to the group, taking form as a person that Penelope couldn't quite recognize from this distance.

She stood back up to try to get a better view, ignoring her aching legs. A new person could easily wind up being a new friend with just a few kind words and a hug, and every new friend brought her plan one step closer to completion. Unfortunately, a new person could also be easily scared off if she didn't act quickly to establish friendly relations. "Hey uh... guys I'm... I'm going to see who that is. W-wait here, if you don't mind."

Despite her exhausted leg muscles protesting against her movements, Penelope stood up and began jogging slowly towards the new arrival, waving her hand in the air as a demonstration of peace.

"Hey!" She shouted, while quickening her pace. "Wait up!"
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((Kimiko Kao continued from 不安心))

It had been a long walk to get to the cliffs. The bridge being a danger zone had meant Kimiko needed to walk around the whole island. It had been a long trip but in the end she preferred it to hiding out in the asylum. There tended to only be one way in and out of every room in that dark and claustrophobic building. It was safer to be out in the open. It would be next to impossible for an attacker to trap her if she was out in the open and they were alone. Add to that the gun she now had, which was currently sitting in her pocket, and it was hard for anyone to attack her and be successful.

So she had almost traveled across the whole island. Staying in cover and away from any noises, keeping herself out of sight. She deliberately took her time and moved slowly and quietly. All this effort to go the cliffs, for what particular reason she wasn't sure. To see the full splendor of a horizon again? Maybe. Equally it could have just been a whim that she was following because her plan just relied on reaching the end now. She had a gun after all.

The image of Nancy pulling the trigger and nothing happening kept replaying in her mind. If things had been slightly different she would have been lying in the asylums library with the other girl. But in the end something had been watching over her then. Kimiko's fingers idly played with her wooden freedom bracelet as she walked. Maybe in a way it was something telling her she had done the right thing killing Nancy. But she still struggled to believe that, as much as she wanted too.

Taoism taught pacifism, wu-wei and zìrán but Kimiko had followed none of those teaching since she had woken up. Yet she had been rewarded...she didn't know how she really felt about it.

A yell caught Kimiko's attention. She stopped as her hand went for the gun, holding the grip, but it slowly slid off when it became clear the person wasn't an active threat. That always had the potential to change though.

Still it could have been an ambush.

Kimiko stood and waited, hand resting on the gun as the person got closer, eventually Kimiko recognized them as Penelope Fitzgerald. She was from the year below, she had been friendly enough whenever they had ended up interacting. If Kimiko remembered correctly Penelope was a pacifist. That knowledge didn't make her relax.

After all she had been a pacifist once.
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((Skipping with permission.))

"Ah! Hey! I uh..."

Penelope took a moment to breathe, calming her already exhausted body after that short jog towards her new acquaintance.

She recognized the new girl as one of the few senior girls that she had interacted with on occasion that wasn't one of her friends. If you had asked Penelope to pick the girl out of a crowd, she would have been able to do so, but she couldn't quite remember the girl's name. Names were never Penelope's strong suit, and it even took her a while before she regularly remembered the names of some of her closest friends.

One thing she did remember though was that the girl in front of her was mute. That wouldn't make communication between the two of them easy.

"So um... my name's Penelope, in case you didn't know or remember or whatever and um..." She searched for words as she stared at the gun in the girl's possession. "I just saw you over here alone and I thought that like... maybe you were lonely and you could use a friend and stuff and..." Penelope awkwardly pushed her index fingers together, her nervousness clear as day. "Well um... now that I'm up here next to you I recognized you and I know you can't talk so I guess just nod or shake your head or something and um..."

"Do you wanna just..." Penelope gestured towards Ben and Raina off a bit in the distance. "...come with me and go back to my friends? They don't bite!"
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Penelope was evidently not as tired as she claimed, or at least not as tired as Raina, since she went running off again at the first sign of another person. Now, Raina didn't want to be the one to rain on the good feels parade, but she was tempted to ask if Penelope had maybe considered... not running up to every person they met. That would end up being trouble sooner rather than later.

Raina stood as Penelope greeted the senior girl, shooting a glance at Ben. She recognized the older girl, but couldn't come up with a name. That made her uneasy. And was that blood on whats-her-face's shirt?

"Hey," she said in a low voice to Ben, "you know her?"
"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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keep running yoshi
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He almost said something when Penelope started to run off. Or at least he almost ran after her, but the energy somehow wasn't there. He simply watched. Dutifully, sullenly, he didn't know.

Recognition turned out to be a particularly forceful stab to the chest. Even bled air as an icy cold gasp of former island breeze escaped his lungs, as he watched a girl all too familiar form out of the vague distance.

Turns out he'd been wrong to assume she'd have always been the innocent sort. Not like he could have envisioned any old bastard from the halls of Cochise wearing self-made bloody fashion, but for it to be her? He'd never spoken much to her, maybe even not at all. He'd worried about her once, the new girl on the block, spared her thoughts as if she were his own sister, or... Years of never speaking- a lifetime in her case- meant that all the fucking soundbytes he had of her, well. Bored terrorists having coffee over announcements.

His blood burned, but he stayed strictly still even as his impotent fury ground the bones of his trembling joints to dust.

Her name wasn't her own name anymore. Her name was Cristobal. Her name was Bradley. Her name was Caleb.

"Kimiko Kao."

He murmured it like a goddamn child throwing a tantrum, refusing to stare at any of them. He still stood at attention, awaiting further orders. The inertia in his rock-throwing hand was at its apex.
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Penelope didn't recognise her and Kimiko didn't really know how she felt about it. Penelope was asking if she wanted a friend. That caught Kimiko off-guard. She had been expecting a little bit of resistance or suspicion. But instead Penelope was acting like Kizi had, optimistic and willing to give her a chance. Kimiko could never had done the same thing; she just saw too much potential for betrayal. Trust wasn't something she had much of.

But the offer was so genuine. Kimiko could tell from the body language of the girl that Penelope didn't have an ulterior motive behind the question. Despite that Kimiko wasn't sure; she could see Penelope's companions further back; she wasn't one hundred percent sure who they were though. The important thing was that it looked like Penelope was telling the truth and no one was waiting to jump out to ambush her. The problem Kimiko had was that she couldn't safely say what the reaction of the rest of Penelope's group was going to be to her presence. Penelope seemed to know who she was, which made her offer all the stranger, but the other two might not have been so welcoming.

Kimiko didn't know how well she would be able to deal with two people if they tried to attack her. She had gotten lucky the last time it had happened thanks to Caleb's warning but he was gone. She did have Nancy's gun though.

The other major problem stemmed from Penelope not realising who she was. She didn't seem to be aware that Kimiko had killed Cristo. Kimiko was slowly remembering that the two were supposed to be friends and the knowledge made the offer from Penelope one Kimiko feel guilty about. If Penelope truly didn't know then it just meant Kimiko was taking advantage of her. Maybe she did know though and she was still able to look past it?

It wasn't something Kimiko could say for sure. In the end Kimiko nodded, maybe she was being given an honest chance.

She didn't want to waste it.
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"Huzzah!"

Penelope gently took hold of the girl's hand and directed the both of them towards her allies, waving her free hand in the air to signal that things were alright. A gentle breeze blew over the cliffs from the sea as Penelope lead the way, keeping a slow pace to avoid tiring out her already weak legs even further. She turned her head back towards Kimiko, noticing the discomfort on the other girl's face. "Something wrong? Wait, actually... don't answer that. Since you kinda... can't. Um... sorry."

"I'll just..." She turned her head back in the direction of her friends. "Shut up, or something."

Awkward silence filled the air between them, the sounds of the breeze and the soft pitter patter of their feet against the grasses lining the cliff being the only things breaking the silence.

Eventually the duo finally got within talking distance of Penelope's companions, Penelope's grip relaxing and releasing Kimiko's hand before she ran up to and hugged Raina.

"Guys I got another friend! I think, anyway. Her name is um..." She turned her head back in the girl's direction. "Sorry to be a bother but um... could you... signal what your name is? Like um... mouth it or write it down or um... something. Sorry, again."
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"Kimiko." Raina offered her name in the girl's stead, since she obviously couldn't speak up. She glanced at Ben, but his smoldering gaze was still fixated on their new guest... new "friend", as Penelope put it.

Raina felt her throat constrict at the realization of just how close she was to a killer once again. A killer who had already taken away someone she knew and liked. Cristo was quiet and kind of weird, and they weren't that close, but he had been a friend all the same.

She kept her eyes moving between Kimiko and Ben, trying to signal to him that he could go ahead and do whatever it was he was going to do. He played baseball, he'd probably have pretty good aim with that rock. Raina tried to shift Penelope to the side so she could reach her bag just in case. If she ended up having to throw the grenade though, it would end badly for all of them, not just Kimiko.
"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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A silent breeze from somewhere unknown wafted over his skin, calloused and unfeeling even at the spot where it had been broken by a bullet.

Otherwise, his senses stayed sharp, his soulless eyes darted about. Kimiko's body language, Raina's body language, Kimiko's weapons. It was all alien to the sort of language he'd learned unspoken on the baseball diamond, the eye contact, postures, gestures, all of them were wrong. Penelope was also a wild card. She was a point of contrast that muddied the waters. He had his orders from Raina more than clearly enough- maybe- but Penelope hadn't affirmed. She hadn't had the time, maybe she hadn't even realized the danger.

There was no clear chain of command, and Ben soberly realized he was probably the only idiot that even mattered to.

"Whatever you're hiding in your pocket pull it out and drop it to the ground, Kao."

At least he managed to make his voice sound strong like he wasn't. Purposeful, manly, those sorts of adjectives Ben had long lost to the death march of time.
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Kimiko wasn't caught off-guard by the reaction from Raina and Ben. In fact she had been expecting it. It didn't mean she was prepared to fully comply though. Whether Penelope had tricked her, and Kimiko believed she hadn't, wasn't important. The important thing was Kimiko was in a situation where Penelope's two companions didn't trust her and did not want her there. She had expected that.

So, when Ben asked her to take the gun out of her pocket she did. But what she didn't do was put it down. Kimiko knew well enough that the whole encounter was based off trust and while Ben and Raina didn't trust her not to become violent she equally didn't trust them not to try and take the gun. She had murdered Nancy for the gun and wasn't about to give it up, especially when she had no assurances that none of the three would try and take it as soon as she put it down.

Instead Kimiko made showed it to the group, making sure her finger was away from the trigger before putting it back into her pocket. Her newly freed hand busied itself playing with her bracelets, while the other stayed by her side, ready to grab the tantō if she needed too. Kimiko didn't want to hurt any of the group, but if they left her no choice she wouldn't have had to think twice. She hoped it wouldn't come to that however, the others just needed to realise that she was as uncomfortable dropping her weapons as they were with her holding them.

It was a stalemate.

So, Kimiko was left with nothing else to do but watch the group and wait for their reaction.
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"Kim..."

Penelope's eyes widened as the full gravity of the current situation dawned on her. She was standing just a few feet away from the girl who had killed dear, sweet Cristo.

She felt the whole world begin to fall away from her, the voices of her friends becoming muffled and indistinct. She tightened her grip on Raina in an effort to keep herself from collapsing, barely noticing the other girl shifting her to the side.

How could she have been so stupid? She saw the sword, she saw the gun, and most importantly she saw the blood, despite her best efforts to ignore it. She should have realized that Kimiko was a threat and that she was risking everyone's lives by even talking to her, even if she didn't know who Kimiko was. She always wanted to see the best in everyone, wanted to believe that everyone was open to reason and compassion, but anyone that would kill someone as peaceful and sweet as Cristo was likely too far gone to bring back.

Tears rolled down her face, her breathing quickening as the full trauma from all the deaths of her friends came roaring back to her all at once, now that she was finally confronted with one of their killers.

"Oh god no... oh god no no no..." She muttered, as she relinquished her grip on her friend and slowly lowered herself to the ground, covering her face with her hands. The world around her fell away completely, leaving her isolated, the cool grass underneath her being her only anchor to reality. Her crying turned into full on sobbing, her mind unable to truly understand and cope with the idea that her friends were gone. People she had spent years of her life with extinguished permanently, never to speak to her or experience joy ever again. Never able to truly live the only life they would get.

Her inelegant blubbering grew louder and impossible to ignore as she fell over to the ground, briefly bringing her back into reality before everything fell away again. Her breathing grew even quicker as her heart raced due to a combination of panic and trauma. Her mind and body were completely unable to cope with her emotions.

Penelope's hands slid off of her face, her eyes opening and shattering the illusion of oblivion she had briefly slipped into. Even through her own tears, she could see that her friends were angry and that Kimiko was blatantly distressed. She had to say something. She couldn't let anything happen here.

"Pl-please do-don't fight!" She forced out in between sobs, her arms shaking as she tried to pick herself up. "N-nobody needs to g-get hurt... please d-don't hurt each o-other... please..."
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Raina's stomach dropped when she saw the gun. Kimiko quickly put it away again, but the feeling lingered. Now, it was clear that the moment any of them put a toe over whatever line Kimiko decided on, they were as good as dead.

Penelope - god, Penelope. Raina was torn between scooping her up for comfort and keeping her eyes fixed right on Kimiko, hand lingering on her bag just enough to signify that yes, she had something in there and it could be used against an enemy. Enemy. She hadn't started thinking of anyone as her enemy until... when? Alvaro? Darius? She was certainly thinking it now, at any rate.

Carefully, she interposed herself between Penelope and Kimiko, and delved her hand into her bag. Just a peek of the grenade. Hopefully that would be enough to get the message across.

"Look," she said, and her voice shook only slightly, which she was somewhat proud of. "Why don't you just leave, okay? We don't want any trouble."

If she could catch Ben's eye when Kimiko wasn't looking, or if the other girl turned away, she would try to signal. What was the best way to sign "throw the damn rock at her head and then run like hell"?
"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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