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Miss Atomic Bomb; 'You're gonna miss me when I'm gone.' (private)
Topic Started: Mar 29 2017, 03:26 AM (714 Views)
Yugikun
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The lack of progress he was making on this whole “finding his friends” thing was really starting to annoy him at this point.

((Jeremy Frasier, continued from If You Don’t Like What We Say, Try Living Here A Couple Days))

Jeremy had been moving. Through the asylum. He’d been here since he left the bridge and he’d been lurking the hallways and yet everywhere he went he couldn’t seem to find anyone. Friend or foe. Maybe if he’d headed into some more of the rooms he would have found people, but the ones he checked had nobody and the ones he didn’t check had noises he really didn’t like coming out of them. Sure, maybe those rooms actually had the people he was trying to look for, but what did you expect him to think? ‘Oh, there are gunshots and shouts coming from this room maybe I should go check it out but wait no maybe I should actually because maybe it is someone I know in there and fuck I don’t even know at this point just go just and figure it out.’

Point was, he was on the roof now. He’d climbed the stairs thinking that they’d lead him to another floor but as it turned out, no, this was it. There was a brick surface surrounded with a slope which Jeremy presumed would lead to certain death, and there was nothing else above it. Well, there was the sky - grey or purple, Jeremy couldn’t really decide what the colour was supposed to be - the clouds, and probably the wind as well, but he couldn’t reach any of those. No stairs. No ladder. At least he supposed nobody was up there. Unless they were dead and you subscribed to that theory that all the dead people were in the sky. It was a cool one. Meant that this life probably wasn’t the end. Ideally. Hopefully, at the very least.

He didn’t know for sure, though. Maybe there wasn’t a place like that.  It was why these last days were so important. It was why now was so important, and it was why this constant inability to find anyone he was looking for was really starting to get to him.

Point was, he was up here, and he still hadn’t seen anyone.

“Oh, uh…”

Well.

Except for the corpse and the person standing right behind it.

“Hey.”
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Cicada Days
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Ben was also still up there. Hadn’t been a few minutes since he’d finished his asinine sequestering of Lucilly’s mortal shell.

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

“Yo.”

He recognized that face, that hair, that unfortunate tuft of barely adequate beard and mustache. He recognized how infuriatingly tall that man had always been relative to his own short ass. That man had always had a penchant for being a bit cooler than his mannerisms of speech implied. Maybe too much of a backhanded compliment. Or too much of a compliment at all.

Jeremy Frasier. The heir apparent to the terrorist’s wills and whims as of the announcements of that day. His name was forfeit, his face was smug, his still breathing was a travesty. Ben felt the familiar surge of his blood boiling and teeth beginning to chip as if against grindstones. However the murderer chose to explain himself it couldn’t possibly be good enough. But Ben forced his temper to abate. Or at least simmer to a still, like Ben’s familiarly abortive home cooking.

Kept his face neutral, the dead pits of his eyes reflecting off Jeremy’s own. No assumptions, no action. Not anymore. Ben had long ago stepped down from that position of authority.

“You alright, dude? I can’t imagine the past six days have been kind to you.”

He was dodging around the subject. Typical cowardice. Ben fully turned to face Jeremy, his back now out to the ocean and the starless night sky.
V7

V6 - Like you imagined when you... were young...
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Yugikun
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The boy turned. Showed Jeremy his face.

Out of all the faces it could have been, it wasn’t one that Jeremy was particularly super happy to see.

Out of all the faces it could have been, though, it wasn’t one that Jeremy would have preferred avoiding, either.

Benjamin Fields was a person. To be more specific, he was a person who happened to be in the same grade as Jeremy. That was where the similarities ended, though. If Jeremy were forced to pick someone in the school who was the total opposite of him, Ben would be a pretty good person to pick (unless there was like, a female version of Ben somewhere in the school who he was drawing a total blank on right now). Dude was sporty, dude probably put schoolwork first, and the dude probably did a lot more than Jeremy did. Homophobia aside, the guy put work in. He’d heard stories by some of the other people he knew about how Ben helped him when someone like Isabel or Michael met them in the halls. Maybe they disagreed on a couple social issues, but Jeremy had to give credit where credit was due, there.

So yeah. Comparatively, not the best person Jeremy could have found, but comparatively, not the worst, either. He’d probably just do the same routine he did with Alba. Ask who he saw. Ask if he’d seen any of the killers, then go off on his merry way. Simple as that.

Well, once he answered Ben’s own questions, of course.

“As close to it that I really can be.”

The bat twirled around slightly, in his left.

“You?”
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Ben wasn’t entirely sure he’d parsed the response correctly. That moment of lexical ineptitude actually rung a bit nicely, in a hollow and empty manner. Familiar harkening to the two left feet two crossed eyes nature of Cochise society at large. The baseball bat was a new one though. Any other time of their lives it would have been in Ben’s hands, not Jeremy’s.

“I’m just doing my thing… Trying to.”

Ben crossed his arms and regarded Jeremy with unpronounced unease. His lips were too set in stone to mouth much anything. He was facing a killer. Those eyes had seen one of the bodies that had once melted like hot blood under the Kingman sun turn cold. Ben’s curiosity was split. Curiosity about how far a question would carry their conversation. About how far a punch would carry Jeremy’s body. His name itself was pretty fucking suspect, wasn’t it? After all, the terrorists had seen fit to praise it. Jeremy Frasier, of all fucking people, a killer. It was the punchline to an unfunny joke.

“You had a run in with Kurosawa, then?” Finally to the point. “I’m almost impressed.” Wasn’t even a lie, but by omission Ben lied about everything else, the cold fury, the sublimely casual dismissal of the murderer’s worth and humanity. “Don’t want to assume anything about what went down, but did she hit first?”
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Yugikun
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And there it was.

The name. The memory that it brought now. The realisation that Ben knew what he did. The fury that could be heard under his voice. This was going to be how it was, now. Jeremy knew that. Even though it’d happened the way it did, even though the person on the announcements even said that Jeremy didn’t attack first, he knew that this was how people were going to treat him from now on. Honestly, he was just surprised that it’d taken this long. He’d seen a couple people since it’d happened? Maxim didn’t seem to care, Hazel and Jordan got over it pretty quickly, and Alba didn’t care that much when he’d told her his name.

Really, Ben was the first one to give him the reaction he expected. Ben was the first person to judge him for it. Treat him lesser, now.

And honestly, he couldn’t wait until he was reduced to having to cry when he thought nobody could see him, in distress because he knew that nobody else could understand him.

That part was in due time, though.

Right now he had to explain the full story.

Well, as close to the full story as he could say with ease for himself.

He shrugged.

“It happened as they said it. She attacked me, I decided that I’d fight back.”
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Ben hadn’t remembered too much of the specifics, of what the terrorists had said. It would imply he’d wanted to.

“I see.”

He couldn’t say that what had been said had mollified him much but that was his problem and his alone. It wasn’t Ben’s job to give voice to his outrage, be it in words or in bullets. That was no longer his place, he knew that much. He had to focus on his job, his role. His job was to save, not to kill. Not to kill to save.

Jeremy. That was still a name the terrorists owned, but maybe it was one Ben could properly consider when he remembered that he had peers he’d once stalked the halls of a desert parched school with. Jeremy’s reason had almost been reasonable enough to earn him the guns to his name. Ben could relax, and infinitesimally, he did.

“Shit, I wonder what got into her… You did what you had to I guess.”

If Jeremy wasn’t yet going the route of the man once named Alvaro Vacanti then maybe he was worth wasting words on. Words clumsily paraphrased from Penelope, and Kizi.

“But what are you going to be doing now?”
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Yugikun
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Huh.

Ben… calmed down. That was a bit of a surprise. Given… he didn’t know, what he imagined the dude was like Jeremy would have imagined that he’d be a little more resilient against what Jeremy was saying. A little more likely to ask questions. More blustering. More confrontational. That kind of thing. It was what Jeremy had heard in regards to Ben in the halls. It was what Jeremy thought everyone in the anti-bullying committee did when nobody was looking. It was probably the only way someone could actually take care of Michael when he was walking around and doing his stuff. Point was: Jeremy expected Ben to argue more. He didn’t.

And really, if that was indicative of how people were going to act towards him in the future, Jeremy would take that.

“I’m gonna be… doing stuff. Finding people. I figure I’m not gonna live much longer, so I better get things done now. Say my last goodbyes.”

A pause.

He may as well just get the next part out of the way.

“And I suppose, for better or worse, I’m gonna do whatever it takes to get that done. Just gonna warn you now.”
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Vague. ‘Stuff’ and ‘things’ were murders as easily as they were innocuous. But Ben knew all about jumping to conclusions. He’d happily jumped himself off that very cliff before, trying to stare down the knives and guns of killers.

Jeremy was at least not brandishing his firepower aloud. So Ben didn’t need to mince his words in reply.

“Solid goals I guess.” Ben could at least bet that Jeremy had implied he wasn’t intending on declaring himself Fittest. Jeremy’s eyes weren’t dead quite yet, maybe they could still see the value in a different sort of plan.

But…

“What do you mean, whatever it takes?”
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Yugikun
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The feeling of deja vu was all that was present within Jeremy’s mind.

“If anyone poses a threat to me, if anyone poses a threat to one of my friends, I take them out. Simple as that.”
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Wasn’t really what Ben had been hoping to hear. Or would have been hoping if he’d had any assumptions in the first place. But the call to action hadn’t been sounded, not yet. It still rested in the potential action of Ben’s tensed knuckles. Jeremy remained plausibly innocent, the debate had yet to turn the way of implication or accusation.

“I guess I get that. But... “ Ben’s train of thought lagged at the station, as was so abnormally common as of late.” Might be a better way to get yourself and your friends together. Penelope, Raina, Kizi, Lili, if you know any of them? We’ve all been putting together a plan to start a sanctuary of folks who won’t be fighting. And…

“We’ll keep enough weapons pointed outward, keep the ones not willing to stay peaceful at bay.”

He excluded Penelope’s bit about turning the guns inward.
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“Yeah, I know Penelope. Raina, too.”

Penelope Fitzgerald. Raina Rose. Two names that Jeremy did not want to have to remember at this moment. In a good way, though. It wasn’t that he hated them, it wasn’t like they were people Jeremy would rather avoid or anything, it was just that Ben saying they were here meant that they were on this island and that they were people Jeremy would have to find at some point, because, like, they were friends. More casual ones but that probably spoke for something about how many of his friends were casual. Basically, they used to talk weird shit on Skype with each other. He wasn’t sure what the beginning point was, but it was something that happened, and it was something that Jeremy enjoyed. Nothing more to it than that.

But they were here. They were on this island. Give the gods some dice and they’d probably bet that the two would be dead in a couple of days.

Well.

Maybe.

Apparently they had a plan. To do something. To keep others safe.

There was something that confused Jeremy a little bit about it, though.

“And then what?”
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“Figure out an escape. We’ve got some good minds already in it. And that fails, hold tight for rescue.”

Ben coldly, rationally tried to consider the final caveat, the possibility of the final, lethal middle finger salute to the terrorists that had turned hell into their home and school.

He had asked about Penelope. So Jeremy did know about her, and maybe he could be trusted. If Ben could be trusted to explain right.

“Penelope’s, uh…” Invoking her name possibly made it sound like he was pinning the fault of the situation onto her. Not his intent, but he couldn’t take words back unless they were in his future. So Ben needed a moment of silence, a moment too long. “She’s not in a good state right now. Sorry to be the one to bear that bad news, but I guess you knew how this all might have gotten to her.”

“She…”

“She’s come up with one last contingency plan. If nothing else works we have to exit the game by ourselves... Get everyone else who didn’t sell their souls for the win to realize, you know, the real way off this island.”

He’d said it.
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Yugikun
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And Jeremy had heard it.

And Jeremy had a very particular opinion about what Penelope’s plan was.

“I don’t like that plan.”
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“I don’t blame you.”

Ben had to nod, the worn to table scraps tendons of his neck tensing with difficulty. “I honestly don’t like it much myself.”

Ben squared his chest with a small heft of his shoulders. This talk had to be man to man, not man to shriveled husk. The cameras dispassionately took notes on his preening.

“It doesn’t have to happen, it’s just a contingency. But I think I understand why we need it. Better to die on your own terms, you know? Show the terrorists they can’t get us, or at least some of us.” Ben shook his head, insistently. Insisting at Jeremy, at himself, he didn’t know.

“There have to be some people on this island that would rather die in control. Instead of, what, cowering like fucking animals, snivelling and doing what the terrorists told them to do?”
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The pointer finger on Jeremy’s left hand pushed against his thumb, pushing and sliding until it eventually fell off.

“Still don’t like that plan.”

The baseball bat had been on his shoulder. It was lightly tapping the ground now. His eyes were level, looking at Ben.

May as well explain why.

“Because that makes everything pointless. It’ll make it so nothing here matters. There are… what, forty people dead already? If there’s no one at the end to go home then that means they died for nothing.”

He paused. Tapped his foot on the ground.

“And it's like, I just don’t think there’s much of a point if you do pull it off? Like, I get it, you’re trying to send a message to the man and all and you’re probably trying to tell everyone that you know, there’s actually a way to stop the murders but it’s not going to actually effect anything. The people up top, the dudes in control of this, they can just, like, not air it if they get a result they don’t like. If they can’t send whatever message they have, then why, like, waste airing it?”

He paused again. Sighed.

“I mean, I get that that’s not actually your plan, but I don’t think I can agree with it with that part there. I get the part about hunkering down, but, like…”

He turned his head away. Turned it back.

“I know Raina’s good at these sorts of things, but even then I don’t think she’s capable of beating this, yknow?”
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