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Drawn To The Blood; The Flight of a One Winged Dove
Topic Started: Mar 14 2017, 06:11 PM (740 Views)
Cicada Days
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[ *  *  *  *  * ]
The buzz of the camera was by now a familiar companion, with whom Ben shared tight-lipped silence.

((Ben Fields continued from Haemolacria))

It was only with explicit permission that he was investigating separately from Penelope and Raina. They were within earshot of each other. Either party hollered whatever was left of their vocal chords the other party would be the cavalry. Ben was a clunky loudass anyways, half tripping over the clink and crunch of broken bottles with a careful gait and efficiency to his step.

Even as announcements droned on and on in that ever familiar insipid tone the entire damn island could probably hear his ass and all the killers would be flocking at his corpse like vultures within the hour.

Killers. Jerry. Alex. So much for hoping. Their names remained forfeit, and Ben should have known better than to pray otherwise. Apparently Alvaro was dead. Maybe not such a bad thing, but it didn't matter. Wasn't a body on that island that was still alive, warm or cold or whatever. Didn't take an outsider perspective to know that the men and women of Cochise had solemnly marched themselves to hell the day they'd allowed themselves to hand over their class list to the terrorists, goddamn names and numbers and hopes and dreams and all.

He hadn't thought on it too long. Had to force himself to stay alert, fit, or however much of those things he still counted for.

He was at least alert enough to respond quickly when he saw what was on the other side of the door he'd chosen out of the firing squad lineup.

"Hey. Been a while."

Well they'd found somebody they'd been maybe looking for. Ben kept himself on his side of the door frame, sparing a brief glance for Penelope and Raina before he remembered he had good company and returned his gaze to them. Lili, Kizi. Awesome sorta folk. They deserved a respectful nod. They also deserved more than Ben could offer them with what was left of his decaying, girlish form.
The Dies Before First Rolls Squad

The Nights
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[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Ben cautiously stepped forward, keeping space for Raina and Penelope to barge past him and handle the meeting with actual competence at their leisure. It was the sort of reverence necessary for entering a friend's home, in short, awkward deference and bumbling about.

He had to wonder what Lili and Kizi were seeing when they saw him, he had no sort of recent history with them, unlike his storied relationship with the camera. Raina and Penelope still looked fine, at least when the latter wasn't silently suffering a suit of vulnerability that she wore so well. In contrast Ben was probably bones and sticks on wheels. Lili in particular seemed enthusiastic to see him, and he couldn't possibly imagine why. Only a real hero, a real man, deserved a heroes welcome.

"Happily," Ben repeated.

Good to see someone hadn't let the miasma of the island become the stalker in their own shadow. He was able to force out a smile on Lili's behalf, she deserved that acknowledgement.

"Pretty fucking glad to hear that, Li."

Kizi, on the other hand, seemed to be more hesitant with her language with all the right in the world to be. The gun by her side also silently contributed to the conversation. Figured he'd finally spotted one when it least mattered and with the last person he would have expected. "Shit, I thought we might have seen plumes in the distance." He bit at a dry lip, trying to massage what moisture wasn't left in his body into the crumbling facade. "Glad you guys are okay... The hell happened out there?"
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Ben nodded along for nobody's benefit, least of all his own.

Maybe he'd never expected Penelope's plan to work out, it could have been a weighted cross to bear as a martyr as easily. But Lili and Kizi proved that Ben's distrust and disgust in his classmates, as much as it had become the blood that curdled in his veins, was still not entirely founded. For once it felt great to be proven wrong. Well. Great was a strong word but shit, he'd take it.

Ben didn't have anything to say. He could merely enjoy the new energy that had revitalized their group, familiar like the parched burning of the Kingman sun. He could stand there on his bow-legged flat-footed ass and silently take it all in like a creep. It all sounded good, great even. Ben had to give a shout out to that dude up in the sky, much as he'd deigned to forget Him over the past few days. Something this convenient was the kind of plan that God got old dudes to preach about to his flocks, or however it was the shepherd metaphor was supposed to work.

One thing did distract him though. Drew his eyes probably bulging right out of his head all dumb and oafish, drool bubble slithering out of his mouth strictly optional.

"We're going to need..." Ben jerked his thumb at the gun Kizi had to her terrorist-unsullied name. "I hate to say it, but we need insurance. Security."

A pause, too damn long, and Ben felt the spine crawl of incompetence for being useless enough to hold up the flow of some good ass conversation and planning between people far his superior.

"I know the basics on how to shoot. An old... a friend. A friend taught me how to dare," he finished, lamely as the crutches he probably belonged in.
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Ben was definitely slow, to clarify, also generally in mind and body but specifically now to speak.

"... Like Lili said, preferably we don't even need to use a warning shot." Ben didn't think it was so likely that they'd be so blessed with peace, but well. He'd been proven wrong before, innumerable times and ways. "And yeah," Ben nodded in the singular Kizi's way. "Physique only has so much to do with it. Wear the right stance and you'll be a guntoter as good as the rest of them." Some of the island's most loathsome were only a step up from tiny tots themselves. Probably still taller than Ben himself.

"One gun should be enough, in shifts."

Ben liked that Kizi had used 'we', and hopefully not in the royal. It was a good sign. 'We' were armed. Fuck, now of all times he finally had himself a good old blood, sweat, salute piece of gun somehow.

He watched the others as frankly as he dared. Not much in the way of smiles on his end, but the others had enough good looking smiles to make up for it. Shit just felt better when the environs mood was more proactive, in your face about it's probably naive optimism.

"Arts and crafts, huh? Now that's a throwback." Ben cracked his brittle bones at the wrists. Fingers next, right on the knuckles. Had to be prepared if the near future would be putting something to his grasp, be it pen or be it sword. "A quick stop to scavenge the asylum might be easier than doubling back. We know for sure the asylum wasn't set on fire."
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Ben appreciated Lili's energy, her vitality. Kind of reminded him of something he'd lost.

"Uh... yeah. Gonna agree with Penelope. Sorry Lili."

Ben wasn't even that exhausted. Not like he needed his own body to function for it to serve a purpose. But there was nothing much to do, yet. And, of course, there was nothing much to say.

He didn't make much effort to get closer to the others. He didn't sleep, and he certainly didn't dream.

((Ben Fields continued in Goodnight, Travel Well))
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