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Resident Evil; Private, sorry!
Topic Started: Mar 12 2017, 06:33 PM (1,091 Views)
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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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Kimiko turned her gaze over towards Vanessa with a quizzical look on her face. The mood in the room had suddenly shifted as Vanessa seemed to have changed tact. The tone of her voice had changed and Kimiko wasn't sure what to make of it.

Whether the other girl had become so used to her presence she was no longer scared of her, Kimiko couldn't safely say. She knew she didn't want to answer Vanessa's question because neither of them would have liked the answer but Vanessa seemed intent on forcing the issue. Kimiko wasn't sure if it was all bravery on Vanessa's part. A part of it would have been of course, but this wasn't the same situation as with Ben and Raina on the cliffs. They had each other and therefore an advantage in numbers. Vanessa was alone without a weapon as far as Kimiko could tell, of course there was always the potential for Vanessa to have a weapon hidden on her person.

That doubt rolled around in the storm in Kimiko's mind just one of many others. If Vanessa did have a weapon hidden there was the potential she had been trying to make Kimiko drop her guard. Just like she herself had done previously to Nancy. Maybe she had been attempting to do that only to switch tactics to trying to goad her over. Kimiko couldn't be sure either way. She couldn't even be sure Vanessa had a weapon, but she needed to respect the possibility.

She raised her hands up, beginning the process of spelling out her answer only to stop and let them drop. Her eyes met Vanessa's and she gave a resigned shrug.

Kimiko knew, Vanessa surely knew, but there was no other way.
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Vanessa continued to push her for an answer. Kimiko was beginning to expect Vanessa to try something, maybe she was trying to get an answer and would try to kill her if she said yes. Maybe she was just trying to place her as a threat. There were a lot of potential options for what Vanessa wanted to gain from the line of questioning but Kimiko couldn't narrow down what one Vanessa was working towards.

Mentally Kimiko was preparing for the situation escalating. There was no solid way to say it would but it was better to be prepared for the eventuality then not. Her hand started to drift down slightly to the gun still in her pocket but Kimiko caught herself and instead picked at the bark on the tree. She didn't have to answer Vanessa, she knew that, but she couldn't lie to someone who was innocent as far as she knew. Vanessa's name hadn't shown up on the announcements at any point.

The way the other girl was talking riled her though. Demanding that she 'show commitment'. Kimiko knew Vanessa would have seen things on the island, at the point they were at everyone would have. The comment bothered her however. Demanding commitment to her either being the monster that Vanessa expected and wanted her to be or not. As if it was such a simple decision. Did she believe that one day Kimiko had woken up and decided she would kill four people, including Caleb? One of her best friends, someone who had truly loved her and sacrificed themselves for her. What level of ignorance did Vanessa possess to say something like that?

Kimiko's feelings of hurt and rejection, of being treated like a monster were beginning to turn to anger. She raised her shaking hands and spelled out a message.

"You don't know what you're talking about."
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Vanessa went off on a rant which seemed to have no end. Kimiko knew the better thing would have been to stop and think about what she was doing. If she lost her composure she could have been caught off-guard by something she hadn't noticed but sometimes it was easier to think about how you shouldn't be doing something than being able to stop yourself from doing it. That was the problem Kimiko was having. Vanessa wasn't the primary cause of her anger; she was just the conduit for it.

Anger had been steadily building up in Kimiko ever since the group on the cliff had rejected her presence. It was compounded by all the other events that had happened over her time, Clarice's rejection, the fight with Isabel and the conversation with Nancy. Everything had been building inside waiting for a moment to be released. That moment seemed to have arrived and even though Kimiko knew that she shouldn't have she moved off branches of the tree and stepped closer to Vanessa.

Her hands moved fast, still shaking as she tried to contain the fury she was feeling. She hadn't felt a surge of anger like the one she was experiencing since that last conversation with Bradley.

"Would you prefer I just killed everyone I met? So, I can be the monster you want me to be?"
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Kimiko exhaled and thought about what she was doing. Her anger was still there, urging her to act, to lash out against Vanessa but she kept it at bay, boiling below the surface. It was prevented from boiling over due to the fact that Vanessa was right. Kimiko had a choice and she had already made it, she knew she would need to kill again. She wasn't sure if Vanessa had truly been put in a life and death situation. it was clear that she had certainly never been near someone like Isabel or Nancy.

If she had been Kimiko wasn't sure if her attitude and feelings towards the choices, they had to make would be the same. Maybe they would have been even then, if she would have could keep her viewpoint even after an experience like that she would have been a better person than Kimiko could hope to be, she just wished she could have been brave enough to keep viewing the world that way. Vanessa even seemed to think that there was still something salvageable within Kimiko herself.

She wasn't so sure she agreed with the sentiment. She was adrift from the rest of her classmates, unable to re-join them or take back what she had done no matter how much she may have wanted to change things. Her devising of the plan and commitment to enacting it had also served to drive a self-made wedge between her and the others. A recognition of what her plan entailed, simple, selfish acts. Whether they would be judged as evil by those who would observe what she was doing after the fact didn't matter to Kimiko as much as she considered them evil. She wasn't doing it for herself though, she was carrying more on her shoulders than her other classmates could have known.

It was why she agreed with Vanessa's sentiment but couldn't fully commit to it. She knew that her own actions had driven her into the corner she was now trapped. As much as she wanted to be more than a murderer, deep down Kimiko agreed with it. Her one arguable good act on the island was primarily motivated by convenience rather than any desire to help others and it did nothing to balance out the others.

Her body may have left the asylums basement but Kimiko wasn't sure her spirit had.

She steadied her breathing and raised her hands again to respond.

"It's not that simple."
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Vanessa's words did sound good but Kimiko found herself thinking about how she didn't deserve them. She appreciated the meaning behind them however and Vanessa was right. Despite that Kimiko was sure the meaning she was getting from Vanessa's words wasn't what the other girl had intended. Vanessa's message of giving up killing because the only person she needed to answer to was herself had the opposite effect. Kimiko remembered the main reason she was doing what she was doing. Her goal of ensuring Caleb's sacrifice wasn't in vain was why she was taking the path she was. She had come up with her plan and everything linked to it to achieve that one goal.

Maybe no one would understand in the end, or maybe they would and she would still be branded as selfish and cowardly. In a way that assessment was also correct, Kimiko couldn't run from that. She was selfish and cowardly but there was still an underlying current of some humanity wasn't there? The desire to ensure someone she cared about died for something more.

She nodded to Vanessa and spelled out a thanks, then moved past the girl and out of the room.

Vanessa probably wouldn't realise quite what she had done or potentially she could have in a small way.

Kimiko's resolve had been strengthened. It had just been strengthened in a way Vanessa may not have intended.

They may hate her or think her a monster. But Vanessa was right in the end, she only had to justify her actions to herself, anyone tried to tell her otherwise, 'tell ‘em to fuck right off'.

Commitment was key.

((Kimiko Kao continued elsewhere...))
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