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Resident Evil; Private, sorry!
Topic Started: Mar 12 2017, 06:33 PM (1,070 Views)
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((Vanessa Stone continued from Dark Necessities))

Why had she come back to the asylum? A test of courage, she guessed. Something to steel her nerves. Something to overcome her ghosts. Cam’s ghost.

She didn’t have any better ideas, anyway. It had been two nights since she’d ran from Kaitlyn, and little ground had been made. It was weird, spending so long with just her own company. Was she avoiding people? If she was, she was doing a damn good job of it. But hey, what was avoiding people compared to the weirdness of a terrorist kidnapping slash mass murder? She'd chalk it up to cabin fever, or whatever.

So yeah, going back to the building where she’d seen her best friend die. Awesome.

She’d made it in the door, already choking on a huge lump in her throat, but maintained her steely resolve. She was tilting her head side to side, chewing her lower lip and humming audibly, trying her hardest to rebel against the anxiety filling her and not let it show. She’d missed breakfast that morning, as an angry growl rumbled in her stomach. The nerves were killing her appetite.

Distracting herself, she reflected on the announcement. Still no dead Alessio, that was good. Still no dead Kaitlyn either, so that was a plus, she guessed (and apparently Alan Banks would live another day; good for him).

Coleen though, that had been a shocker. Apparently she was actually a literal two-face, given Arthur’s untimely end. It was actually really unsettling to hear that her not-so-favourite bandmate had done something so callous, and there weren't a lot of things that unsettled her (not before this week, anyway). It had given her a serious case of goose bumps, and she'd been trying not to dwell on it. It hadn't worked very well, though; things to dwell on were mounting up.

Nancy was dead too, which was meh at this point. One less psycho around was probably for the best. That’s how she'd written the whole thing off, anyway.

She was probably forgetting someone important, but by then she was getting tired of the names of the deceased. The one she cared about most was already gone, so until Alessio showed up on it she’d just have to plough on.

So there she was, out of announcement and still on the ground floor, the crypt closet that she was avoiding still waiting upstairs.

Oh hey look, ‘art therapy’. That sure did sound like a more appealing place to go.

Shit, Cams loved her art.

She shook her head, cleared that thought, and went inside. Therapy was probably the last thing anyone would be doing in this room anytime soon, given the complete mess it was in and that awful smell that was floating around.

“Oh Christ!” she squealed, finally spotting Mitch’s decaying body. It was a good thing she hadn’t eaten that morning, or she might’ve not been able to hold back the bile. Instead, it only made it as far as an unpleasant acidic belch.

She stared at the body for a moment, letting out an awkward groan through shut teeth without blinking, a similar reaction one might have to a huge social faux pau. She'd been trying to avoid bodies, damn it.

She swallowed, then turned away. Waited a moment, then turned back.

So, what was she supposed to do here?

She walked over, crouched down and leaned in. The putrid odour wafted up her nose as a fly crawled out of the hole in Mitch’s face, probably done laying its eggs. Grim.

She’d seen a few dead bodies at this stage, or rather, she’d played Resident Evil. Duh, it wasn’t the same thing, but it was kind of eerie where the similarities were. This one wasn’t moving, which she supposed was probably better. The last thing this island needed was zombies.

She chuckled at the corpse, just a little. The humour helped. Sort of.
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((Kimiko Kao continued from Haemolacria))

Yet again Kimiko found herself drawn back to the asylum, it seemed appropriate. Despite Ben saying that she might not have been a monster it had planted the idea; she was certainly viewed as one and she was outcast. She felt like a monster as well. She didn't resent the Penelope, Ben or Raina for their actions. What they did had made sense, she had killed four people and for all they knew she was crazy and dangerous. Kimiko was mad at herself for thinking that she might be accepted by innocent people. The only reason she had felt so awful after it was because she had allowed herself to build up her expectations in such a way.

So, returning to asylum was natural, it was the right place for a monster to be. Kimiko had continued moving and resting, avoiding any sign of people. Interacting with anyone else wasn't something she had any more interest in. She had eaten, slept, washed her wounds and replaced her bandages. All the tasks undertaken in silence as she was left alone with her thoughts. She had tried to sleep as well but the nightmares made it impossible and she had given up. Instead opting to sit in the corner with her knees pulled up to her chest, something that had become a nightly ritual for her.

Now she was moving through the asylum, exploring and searching for any supplies. It felt ghoulish, trying to find anything that had been discarded via any means just so had more resources. But in an even worse way desecrating the dead was hardly the worst thing she had done.

Kimiko came to a stop at a door labelled art therapy. She found herself curious about the contents of the room. What would the occupants of the asylum have drawn or painted? They were outcasts as well, abandoned by their loved ones and society to an island where they could be forgotten about. Left at the mercy of whatever affliction they had and whatever form of treatment a broken system deemed necessary.

She pushed the door open and walked inside only to stop instantly as there was someone already in the room and they were crouched over a corpse. Her hand reached for the pistol and slowly tightened around the grip. Preparing for a potential attack.

Spotting some crumpled paper on the floor Kimiko stepped on it gently, letting the crunch serve to alert whoever the person was to her presence.
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For the second time in short order, Vanessa squealed aloud. She’d been staring so intently at Mitch’s messed up face that Kimiko had managed to catch her completely off guard.

“Jesus, you startled me!” she yelled at the new arrival after regaining her footing, flush with irritation and a racing heart. Staring death in the face had put her on edge, it seemed.

Kimiko was not a familiar person, just another student at Cochise who she’d maybe seen once or twice in the halls; she’d never talked to them, she was pretty sure of that much, at least. As great as a place to meet new people as the island was, she’d still have preferred someone familiar.

She opened her mouth, words forming, when she spotted where Kimiko’s hand was: resting on the grip of a gun, its barrel visibly outlined against the pocket fabric. Vanessa swallowed the words back down immediately, face frozen, as her heart kept on pounding in her chest.

Shit, this might be dangerous.

“Hey, woah, it’s cool! I’m unarmed!” She spat out at last, raising her hands to demonstrate, her chair leg conveniently tucked out of sight in her day pack for now. Carrying it around all day every day had started to feel pointless, but now she was starting to think otherwise.

She’d just have to keep her cool, she was quickly telling herself, and hope this girl kept hers too.

“No need to shoot me, ok?”
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The girl jumped and yelled in surprise. Kimiko recognized and knew who Vanessa was, how she looked and acted was memorable. She was in a band as well, Kimiko also remembered that. Besides that detail, Kimiko didn't have an idea what Vanessa was like as a person, whether she would aggressive towards her or not.

It didn't take Vanessa long to spot the gun and react to it. Kimiko pulled it out of her pocket slightly and shook her head. The idea of shooting Vanessa unprovoked had never entered her mind. The opportunity had been there but she had never even thought about it until that moment. Moving further into the room Kimiko looked around, a large tree had come crashing through a window which took up nearly the whole wall. The trees old, gnarled branches had knocked easels aside and cast papers to the wind. If the room had ever been a place of quiet reflection it had lost that quality long ago.

Her feet shifted through the scattered papers, sending the inner thoughts and dreams of the poor souls that had to live in the asylum drifting away to find new homes. Kimiko turned her gaze over the body Vanessa had been looking at. It looked like whoever it used to be had been shot in the head. Kimiko felt guilty over her blunt assessment of the corpse but there was nothing else she could do. She had never known the person.

Coming to a stop by the tree Kimiko lightly sat on one of the thicker branches and looked at Vanessa, she seemed mostly unharmed. She had avoided an encounter with the monsters that lurked on the island...until the moment she had walked through the door, Kimiko thought to herself. She lowered her bag off her shoulder, grimacing slightly as it rubbed against her shoulder wound and retrieved a water bottle from inside. Whether it had originally belonged to her or Nancy she didn't know. It didn't matter.

Once she had finished drinking Kimiko dropped the bottle back in her bag, her eyes never leaving Vanessa through the whole process. With a deliberately slow pace Kimiko raised her hand of the gun and into the air, then slowly spelled out her message with her hands letter by letter.

You're safe.

She didn't know if her message would be fully received so she left her hand off the gun, but still resting on the branch nearby, in case she needed to use it.
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Vanessa watched Kimiko pace across the room, relaxing her hands but not her guard. At least she wasn’t getting shot at.

Her mind raced, looking for clues about Kimiko, something she could use to break the ice and avoid the situation turning ugly. She didn’t want to think such a thing could happen, but it had without a doubt been happening for the past five days all across the island to people less fortunate than her. Now wasn’t the time to get naïve, not if Kimiko had a gun. It wasn’t like Kaitlyn, who may have been armed but was at least familiar.

Shit, Vanessa could’ve gone for having one of Kait’s weapons right now; maybe she should’ve stuck around? Well, too late to worry about that.

She stopped her ponderings just as Kimiko finished her water, snapping back to attention. She was about to open her mouth, try to start a conversation, when Kimiko beat her to the punch and traced her finger thorugh the air.

“…ok?” Vanessa cocked an oblivious eyebrow. “T-thanks, I guess?”

She flashed back an awkward thumbs up, since apparently this was what they were doing now. Christ, just once could she meet someone normal?

“So, uh…” she trailed her words, eyebrow still cocked, as she slipped her bag down off her shoulder. She needed a break. “how’ve you been…you? You know, all things considered.”
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How had she been?

Only answer was awful. Things had been bad ever since she had killed Caleb. Everyone she had met distrusted her, not that she blamed them exactly but her last encounter with Penelope, Ben and Raina had hurt. She considered the best way to respond to Vanessa's question. Kimiko didn't believe she deserved much better than what she had been given. It was the path she had committed herself to when she decided to stab Cristo. It was something she deserved.

So how had she been?

Been better.

It was a simple response but it covered her emotions well.

Kimiko wondered how Clarice was, she hadn't heard anything on the announcements so she assumed her friend was still alive, she hoped she was at the very least. Clarice deserved as much. She thought about Enzo and how they were willing to listen and talk to her like a person. After the cliffs Kimiko assumed that would have been the last time someone talked to her as if she was a person but Vanessa, while clearly unsure and wary of her was still being civil. Kimiko wondered if it would last though.

Painstakingly she spelled out another response to Vanessa.

"What about you?"
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Kimiko was clearly someone of few words.

She lifted her hand as she opened her mouth, so drawn in by Kimiko’s gestures that she was about to mimic them herself. Fortunately, she caught herself before she started, realising that, no, in fact, that would be stupid, and hastily lowered her hand again. She coughed to clear her throat, just to distract from the awkwardness of this whole situation.

Whatever her deal was, there was probably a legit reason for the not talking. Maybe she’d killed someone, and had taken a vow of silence to punish herself? Maybe she’d seen horrors too horrific to ever speak again? Or maybe, you know, this was just her thing, for whatever reason, and standing there speculating wasn’t going to speed up the conversation. Maybe it’d be faster if she kept it to yes or no questions?

Oh right, she had one of those to answer still.

“Well, shit’s been shit. No-one’s tried to blow my head off yet, though, so thanks for not breaking that streak.” She pulled a face that signalled her general dissatisfaction with that upside being her current reality, then kept the conversation flowing. “Right now, I’m just looking around for someone. Name’s Alessio Rigano; you know him?”

It would be great if she did, because this manhunt had been going on way too long now. That said, Vanessa figured it would probably better not to say what she was planning though, just in case Kimiko was his buddy or something. It would suck for Kimiko, but more importantly it would suck for Vanessa having to deal with being on the bad side of someone armed.
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Kimiko shook her head.

She knew who Alessio was but she hadn't seen him. There was no point trying to explain all of that however. There was a small feeling like she had let Vanessa down for not knowing where Alessio was. She knew he had been on the announcements but that wasn't to say they weren't friends and she wanted to find him. At the same time, she may have wanted to find him exactly because he had been in the announcements, maybe he had killed one of her friends and she wanted revenge for that.

It didn't matter though; Kimiko couldn't help her. She couldn't help anyone and she hadn't helped anyone since she had awoken on the island.

Leaning back on the tree, Kimiko appraised Vanessa. She didn't seem aggressive or even like she was armed for that matter. It meant Kimiko felt comfortable staying in the room. Her reasoning was that even if Vanessa was armed, she still had a gun, which was something that gave her an advantage in almost every scenario should think of. From the way things were going though it didn't look likely that the situation would escalate at all.

That was something she was glad for.

Kimiko didn't know if she could deal with anything like that with her mental state being the way it was.
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Shit, no cigar. Typical, really.

Vanessa was pouting, though she didn’t realise it. This was going beyond frustrating: didn’t anyone in this school know this Alessio bastard? The guy murdered her BFF for Christ’s sakes, and now she couldn’t get a straight answer on his identity from anyone? Talk about a kick in the teeth.

She let out a short groan, tapping her foot on the ground to vent some of that impatience. She was antsy enough to get the job done without this bastard dragging it out even further by being a total non-entity amongst her schoolmates (except when he was butchering them, anyway).

Turning her attention back to Kimiko, she opened her mouth to keep the conversation going. It shut again, as she immediately ran out of things to say.

What exactly were they supposed to talk about by now, hanging out in a ruined room where crazy people painted posies and pears? ‘Killed anyone?’ ‘Nearly died?’ ‘Seen anyone you love get murdered?’. Yeah, that was real water cooler chatter. Real water cooler in an asylum full of corpses, with bits of dead people floating in it like fruit slices. Peachy.

She still wanted to try, though.

“What’s your name, anyway? Spell it out for me?”
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Vanessa was clearly frustrated by her response. Kimiko could tell from her body language; it spoke louder than perhaps the girls’ own words could have. But there was nothing she could do whatever the reason Vanessa wanted to find Alessio was she couldn't help. She possessed no knowledge of the boys’ whereabouts and hadn't seen him at all during her time awake. There was nothing more she could offer.

Then Vanessa asked another question and this time doubt crept into Kimiko's mind. She had been asked what her name was. She had assumed Vanessa had known who she was but now that it turned out that hadn't been true. Doubt began to creep in immediately, questions of whether or she should answer Vanessa's question truthfully or not.

If the girl had been talking to her the way she had without knowing who she was then there was nothing to say she wouldn't continue to do so once Kimiko revealed her name but at the same time, there was the knowledge of all her previous encounters with people. They all treated her the same apart from a couple of exceptions and there was no guarantee that Vanessa wouldn't be the same as everyone else and become aggressive or try to force her out of the room.

Should it have come to that Kimiko did have the gun and that would probably be enough to dissuade any attempt at an attack.

In a piece of irony that wasn't lost on her Kimiko couldn't bring herself to lie to Vanessa about her name. There were a few factors, both moral and cultural but it felt wrong to her. She couldn't claim to be someone else even though she knew that it would have been better for her. So, with an ever-building sense of dread that threatened to strangle her Kimiko raised her hands up one more time.

"Kimiko."
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“Hey Kimiko, nice to meet you. I’m Vanessa, if you didn’t know.”

She flashed a smile, then resumed their awkward silence.

Kimiko, where’d she heard that name before?

She snapped her fingers: that was right! It had been in the morning, repeatedly, over the past few days…

“Wait, shit! You’ve been on the thing!”

Her arm darted forwards, pointing an accusatory finger at the girl she now realised was a serial killer. “A few times! You’ve been doing the thing to the people and - holy shit!”

Not good, not good at all. Even after spending six days on an island where her classmates were dropping like flies, she’d at least had the fortune to only meet mass murderers before they went on their rampages. Kaitlyn was a killer, but that was restricted to just one person, and Vanessa at least knew Kaitlyn in advance.

Killer Kimiko? Complete question mark!

She realised she was still pointing her finger, and quickly pulled it down, letting out a nervous laughter. “Hey, we’re still cool, right?” she raised her hands again, just in case Kimiko had forgotten that they’d agreed she was not armed and not a threat. “No need to put that gun to good use and do anything stupid, eh? I mean, I don’t mind or whatever, really!”

She laughed again, no more natural than before, then caught herself in a realisation.

“The you killing people thing, I mean! I don’t mind that!”

Just in case there was any misunderstanding, because she would mind very much if Kimiko decided to put that gun to good use right now.
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It took Vanessa a few moments to realise but eventually she became aware of who Kimiko was. After that her reaction fell in line with what Kimiko expected. Wariness. Unease. It was always the same. People saw a wild animal with the potential to strike at any moment and tried to tiptoe around every little thing they said lest they anger her. The only difference was the level of anger some people displayed towards her. Sometimes it was more open like with Jennifer, sometimes it was visible simmering under the surface like with Clarice and sometimes there was no anger, just caution and fear.

That was where Vanessa was. There was an obvious nervous energy in her movements and speech as she found the context of their conversation had changed. Suddenly she wasn't just talking to a mute girl with a gun. She was talking to a killer with four victims and only one of those could have been twisted as necessary or just. That had only come about because she had gained Nancy's trust only to betray it the moment she let her guard down. It made sense for Vanessa to be nervous.

Kimiko watched Vanessa ramble until it eventually came to a stop. Unsure of what to do Kimiko looked away, she didn't have a response to everything Vanessa had been saying that mattered. Instead she turned her attention to the tree. It's bark, old and gnarled, having weathered many storms in its time until eventually time and the elements had caught up with it and it fell. It had a poetry to it and Kimiko couldn't help viewing herself as the tree.

However, unlike the tree her storms had been formed from her own actions.

She turned and looked at Vanessa but didn't respond. She had nothing she wanted to say.
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Ok, her face continued to not have an extra hole in it. That was good.

Yet still she felt her heart beat in her chest, a glimmer of sweat starting to form on her brow. She still had a placating grin on her face, brought out by the nervous laughter and held there by the same force. It was the only face she could think to make in response to Kimiko’s sullen stare.

What now? Her search for Alessio had reached another dead end, but this dead end could turn on her and start firing bullets if she wasn’t careful. It would probably just be best to step out, let Kimiko go on with her mass murdering in peace and let that sort itself out.

She was about to open her mouth, politely excuse herself, when an ugly thought occurred: maybe someone in her position had had the same reaction to Alessio.

Her fake grin dropped suddenly, much to her dismay. She was pretty sure that Cameron was Alessio’s first victim (a bit of bile rose in her throat with that thought), but he’d gone on to kill other people, and they’d probably had friends like Vanessa was to Cameron.

This wasn't the first time she'd thought about this, and she'd already made up her mind: avenging everyone Alessio had killed would be stupid, and it wasn’t her problem. Yeah, it sucked for them, and it sucked for their friends, but that blood wasn’t on her hands. She was in it purely for her BFF, and BFFs of Alessio’s other victims could sort out their own mess. As much as they would be able to after she was through with him, anyway.

Still, how would she react if she let Kimiko walk out of here now, only to find out the next day that she’d murdered, like, Jae? Killer or not she still liked the guy, however long ago their hanging out felt like. Hell, even if it turned out Coleen had bitten the dust because of Kimiko, there’d be a pang of guilt to go with it. Oh, right, she was a killer too.

Christ, she was running out of friends who weren’t homicidal.

She turned her attention back to Kimiko. Fuck it, she could at least ask.

“So, hey, if I just walk out of here now, are you going to keep on doing that? Killing people, I mean.”
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The question Vanessa had asked was one Kimiko didn't want to answer. She already knew what the answer was of course. She had a plan and following that plan through to the bitter end meant that at least one or two more people would need to die by her actions. The question became one of what she would do in specific circumstances, mainly, could she avoid getting any blood on her hands needlessly. She had managed so far. She could have killed Enzo; she could have shot Penelope as soon as she had approached her and she could have shot Vanessa in the back of the head without the other girl even realising she was there. But there was no hiding from the truth, she would have to kill again. It would get to a point where the numbers were so low that they would be forced into conflict and if she wanted to survive and make Caleb's sacrifice worth it she would need to make sure she came out the victor.

If she needed to be a snake and use cunning like she had with Nancy she would. If she needed to be a bull and use brute force like she had with Bradley she would. She couldn't afford to hesitate or give anyone else the chance, if she wanted to win she needed to use any strategy that worked.

She looked over at Vanessa and couldn't muster up the will to reply. She didn't want to.

She knew what the answer was. That was bad enough.
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A blank stare. Well then.

That tension born of hanging out in the same room as a serial killer was starting to die down, as irritation moved to take its place. If there was one thing Vanessa didn’t like, it was being ignored.

“Hey, asked you a question. Your hands not working, or something?”

Maybe not the best tone to take with Kimiko, but Vanessa was still breathing, so maybe she’d overestimated how dangerous the situation was. Besides, it wasn’t like she was being rude or whatever, just trying to get a confirmation that Kimiko wasn’t about to go out and try to murder some more of her classmates. Maybe she was being a bit optimistic, trying to get Kimiko to wave the words ‘No Vanessa, I will not kill anyone anymore. I have turned over a new leaf, thanks to you.’, but it was better than leaving the question just hanging there.

Well, maybe not better, but it was what Vanessa preferred.
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