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Drawn To The Blood; The Flight of a One Winged Dove
Topic Started: Mar 14 2017, 06:11 PM (739 Views)
General Goose
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Don't cast aspersions on my asparagus.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
(Kiziah Saraki continued from Everything's In Solitude Except Character)

Lili seemed to know her way around. Seemed to have a sort of grasp of this place. A sentimental attachment, Kizi thought, briefly, for a stupid fleeting second. That was a silly assumption. Probably a place that bore some horrific memory, that was what the island bred.

But Lili led them here anyway, and seemed to do it without visible distress. Probably some cold strategic decisionmaking. Kizi respected that. They all needed some of that right now. If they were going to fight this thing.

And it was much like the other days. An orderly, oddly serene night, governed by the logic of keeping watch, any sleep obtained precarious and fragile. Kept the body from collapsing, but little else. She too had no dreams. Or if she did, she didn't remember them. She had stirred a lot during the night apparently. Upon awakening, she had rolled over, from clinging the wall to perilously teetering on the edge of the bed, and had apparently changed from pointing her feet at the door to the opposite position.

She found herself not caring. Her body was intact, her stuff was unpilfered, Lili remained alive and reliable. If there were any interesting night time revelations in a forgotten sleep talk monologue, then her family would hear of them. Any close night-time calls, her family would celebrate them. Any tragedies that she narrowly evaded, her family would be grateful that she had not exposed to the extra trauma.

It was oddly comforting, knowing they were watching. That may have been selfish of her - and goodness knows she could imagine why a classmate could bemoan that very same reality - but she felt they were watching over her, in some way.

She couldn't quite put her finger on it.

Still, it got her through the announcements. That, and Clarice and Bart did not come up. They survived. More people she knew did get their names called out. More people she cared about had died. But, though she was forcing herself to not be numbed, she found it a harder and harder task to give them all their due. She made sure to cling to each ounce of sadness or pity she felt. It would keep her human. Honour their memories. Shine through in her behaviour.

She even made sure to produce a respectful nod for Nancy. Whether it was backed by genuine remorse for the girl's demise, she did not know. It was a benefit of the pace of the announcements, and the irreverent tone. It allowed one to move on from the thoughts that threatened to fester.

Nancy had been killed by Kimiko. There was surely some comment to be had there. Kizi would let others make it.

But with Clarice and Bart, she would have felt a degree of culpability, of moral responsibility, for any harm that had befallen them. Would have reenacted the events in her mind, repeatedly, nitpicking the details to perhaps find a decision she could have made that would have averted any tragedy. But no, for now, it hadn't come to that.

Kizi joined Lili in idly chewing on some bread. It had been a monotonous ration at first. Now, it was the closest thing she had to a reminder of normalcy. She kept on eating. "Well. Clarice and Bart made it out of the library. That's good."
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Kiziah Saraki
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Don't cast aspersions on my asparagus.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Okay. Awesome.

Friends. Friendly folk. Not as close a friend as Clarice or Bart (well, she couldn't even remember how close she was to Bart before all this), but still, good faces. No blood on their hands. A genial attitude. She raised her head, allowed a warm smile to break onto her features, and internally decided that, hey, it was worth sharing her idea here.

"Hey guys." She tried enforcing some kind of happy energy into her tone, injecting her timbre with some vehement glee, like Lili had done, but the effort failed. Lili probably had stronger attachments here, it seemed. Again, she knew all of those people, but not super-duper-well. Most of them were in the year below her, after all.

Like, she recognised Lili's face from Kingman, but she wasn't at the level of friendship with Penelope or Ben or Raina to be aware of her status as a mutual friend to all of them. Again, she was friends with everyone here, but not to the degree of knowing their mutual friends. They were obviously at the level for jovial insults - effing nerds, and the like - which Kizi was fine with, but yeah, not yet at the mutual friendship awareness.

Still, though.

Ancient history now.

"Hi everyone, good to see you're all doing okay." She almost said 'well', but changed to okay at the last minute. Because 'well' just would be mockingly inaccurate. "Lili and I just escaped from the library fire. Which was not fun."
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Don't cast aspersions on my asparagus.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Lili was doing most of the talking. The explaining, the conversing, all the making sure everyone was on the same page and no misunderstandings were occurring. Kizi was okay with that. She needed a few moments to get her thoughts in order. To just absorb the presence of the new arrivals. Relish in the irrefutable evidence before her that there were others who hadn't yet compromised their humanity.

They all seemed pretty courteous. Reasonable. Gregarious. Goodhearted. As good as could be expected, considering the horrors of the island.

Kizi had been lucky, she felt, compared to many of her peers. Perhaps the newcomers had seen far worse things. Endured far greater atrocities. Been confronted with much more palpable evils. In which case, their resilience and fortitude was all the more commendable.

Raina was quiet. Ben seemed happy to stand back. "Thanks, guys," was all she said to their well wishing. It was all that needed to be said.

Penelope, though, she seemed the most eager to talk.

And so Kizi turned to her.

"Yeah, that sounds just about right." Except it wasn't. Not even close to her end goal, really. Similar methods, but there was a divergence. "I mean, it'd certainly deal them a massive blow if their whole 'every teenager's a monster' narrative was disproven, certainly." She clicked her tongue, to hold the floor. It was certainly a far more favourable outcome, one that could deal better long-term consequences, than what the terrorists had in mind. So, on that front, she was telling the truth.

But something - honesty, buoyant optimism, social obliviousness - made her continue to talk. "I mean, I don't think we'd be able to bring the killing to a stop. To a complete standstill. That'd take a few days, y'know? But if we slow it down, if we bring it down to a trickle and have a safe zone for everyone who doesn't want to play...then yeah." She blinked. "The terrorists'll either be forced to intervene, and then we get the moral victory..." Which was basically Penelope's plan.

"Or we drag this out long enough that eventually rescue'll be happen. And then they'll probably pop the collars anyway," she added, realising that grim inevitability with a grim punch, "but hey, we still get the moral victory. Point is, they can't keep us here forever. Not without destroying their 'everyone's evil' mentality." She assumed that was their mindset. The evidence seemed to point to it.

Kizi didn't mean to disparage the worth of a moral victory. Still, though, the ideal moral outcome was still rescue. And all they could do was drag things out.

"And either way, the terrorists lose!" She threw in an extra smile, hoping that would gloss over any differences in levels of optimism. That sort of fundamental philosophical debate was not exactly what interested her at that time. Her voice sped up, her tone perking up, as she turned to the details she had quietly reflected on. "So, I think probably the first thing we'd need to sort out is some sort of safe zone - and because of the whole danger zone thing, it'd need to be flexible, with backups and the like. And, y'know, posters around the island telling people what to expect."
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Don't cast aspersions on my asparagus.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Okay. A positive reaction. A realistic account.

If only Clarice was here to take notes.

Kizi found herself smiling too. Just a morsel of hope was enough to get her excited beyond belief. A reminder that cooperation and decency and humanity and all that had survived. Despite the rules of the game. Despite the cowardly barbarity of a few of their classmates. Despite the many pressures to panic, or misunderstand, or fight and agitate. Despair was a pretty unhelpful thing, really. It was pessimism in the face of all evidence. For now, there was a reason to be happy. There was a reason to be optimistic. To have some hope. To believe in solidarity and kinship and empathy making a much-needed resurgence.

And there was no point in denying that evidence.

"Oh, yeah, it's good that we're armed." She had noticed that her shotgun had received some attention, Ben being the first to raise the possibility it'd be needed. And she was using the plural pronoun deliberately. Had to make some early commitments to building a rapport. Had to show she was serious. "Like, I'd be happy if we found a pistol or rifle or something too, just because a shotgun is a little bit too bulky for me. I fear if I fire it I'll..." She harrumphed, followed by some raspberry-blowing, in an attempt to emulate a shotgun blast. And then she leaned backwards, to imitate the recoil throwing her back.

She wasn't exactly super-capable of firing guns, she was willing to guess.

And then there was scepticism about the posters. Which was fine. Whatever. Probably smart. And it was constructive criticism. Again, Clarice should have taken notes. There were ways to be critical without being scornful. Still, though, no point in dwelling on the past.

"Posters could work. If we head to the Bell Tower, we could grab some art supplies from the asylum. Which'd be fun."
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Kiziah Saraki
Bradley Floyd
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General Goose
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Don't cast aspersions on my asparagus.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Kizi hadn't felt tired. They'd rested. They'd eaten. Her needs for comfort and convenience had faded rather quickly during her time on the island, so all in all she felt pretty good. Physically, at least. Actually feeling good in anything approaching a substantiative or holistic manner was, of course, at this point a pipe dream.

Even more of a pipe dream than her grandiose ambitions of community.

But talking about it, being forced to think, being confronted with the realities of the island - even in the form of benign schoolmates who shared her intuitions - was exhausting. Somehow even more so than the announcements. Brought back all the fatigue and malaise the rest had temporarily provided them.

Kizi wasn't sure why. Maybe hope was more exhausting than despair?

She liked that thought.

And so, Kizi joined them in resting. She nodded. Murmured acceptance. Looked to Lili, gave her a more passive smile that expressed her own desire to recuperate. And she gave them hospitality. Helped with guarding, helped with moving things around, all that stuff. They had travelled more. Their exhaustions were greater than hers. And when they were ready, they moved.

((Kiziah Saraki continued in A Time to Love.))
Edited by General Goose, Apr 8 2017, 02:08 PM.
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