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Minus Something; [Shoot First, Ask Questions Later]
Topic Started: Apr 11 2017, 07:17 PM (1,931 Views)
CrossbowPig
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[ *  *  *  * ]
He put his shotgun down. He's coming toward you. Distracted. Run over to the shotgun, pick it up, and blow a hole through his chest. Now.

Instead, Lili hoisted Kizi up over her shoulders in a fireman's carry, and was almost sent tumbling backwards onto the ground. She managed to keep level, and started towards the door.

"I can do it," Lili said to Al, "Make yourself comfortable here. Might want to put the shotgun away, though. Just 'cause."

She made her way closer to the door, past the table with the posters on it. A quick glance over at what could have been, and what almost was, sent a cold shiver down Lili's spine. Almost made her drop Kizi.

"Where do you want to go, eh?" Lili whispered gently into Kizi's ear, "Bell tower, maybe? The bridge? Or just for a little walk outside?"

Lili was being eaten from the inside out, feelings of guilt and grief gnawing their way towards her brain. She didn't know who would collapse first, her or Kizi.

Dying together wouldn't be awful.
~~~~~ Creativity's Burning Pyre ~~~~~

NOW: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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“Outside. Somewhere. Want the view.” Kizi felt whatever lucidity and eloquence she had slipping away. Her whole body was screaming in pain, an eruption of sorrow and agony in every fibre of her body.

It was intense. Too intense, really. The physical pains just...deafened her senses. Cancelled each other out. She knew it was there, but she couldn’t focus on it. Her side had been torn off. Her arm and torso had been...she didn’t want to look down. Her head wasn’t moving much anyway. But she could feel the damage.

Instead, all the little things, those were standing out to her. Acute. Sharp. Those were the things that were excruciating. Those were the things that were disconcerting her. And it was maddening that her vocabulary was slipping away. She could feel it. She could feel the words just slip away, into the ether, out of reach, forgotten for good. She couldn’t complain, really. Kizi had been able to talk, with passion and spirit, for quite some time after Al’s entrance. She had made the most of it. But then her body had realised what was happening.

She was…

Well. That was a word she wasn’t going to try and remember.

But it was inevitable now. The end. She’d left her mark. Redeemed someone. Made a plan. Created some hope. And, as if on cue, it was her time to leave. It was selfish of her to have asked Lili and Al to do one last thing for her. To take such a risk for her comfort. For luxury. But she felt that she’d deserved it. She wanted it. Didn’t exactly have the mental capacity left to debate it any further.

They carried Kizi. It felt like a while. She felt her body slowly begin to give up. Each breath was more laborious at first. But then her breathing became almost...leisurely. Relaxed. Like her lungs had accepted that there was no point in stressing, that hard work was futile, that half of her body had already given up.

She had to squint as the brightness hit her eyes. As the sea breeze glided over her skin, as her tongue tasted the salty sea air, as the sound of seagulls reached her ears.

She was outside.

G020: Kiziah Saraki
DECEASED

V7 peeps:
Nick Ogilvie
Ashlynn Martinek
Bill Winlock
Camille Bellegarde

V6 peeps:
Kiziah Saraki
Bradley Floyd
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She was not outside. No.

Kizi collapsed before Lili and her even reached the door. He just stood there, next to them, wanting to help, but decided not helping Lili to carry the weight, because she insisted that she can do it alone. She probably did not trust him with carrying Kizi, which is understandable, for what he has done.

Lili carried the fallen Kizi.

It was really sad to see, it was the saddest he saw on the island, even if that had been the least brutal death he saw here. Kizi just peacefully died while walking outside. Alessio had no clue what to tell the two. Not two anymore, it was just him and Lili.

He said nothing to Lili.
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"So much for our dream, huh, Kiz?"

Lili looked down at her friend's body, propped up against the side of the asylum wall. The cold made her shiver. Goosebumps popped up all up and down her arms. With a finger to her mouth, she paced back and forth pensively. There was a camera nearby, and for some reason, that made her feel compelled to eulogize.

"I should've taken the bullet for you. Wouldn't have fucking died like you did, probably, heh. Wouldn't have been around to feel this."

She stopped pacing and looked down at Kizi's face, still contorted in a kind of half smile.

No grieving. I said no grieving, so stop tearing up, please? Y'know, you sicken me, you Lili Williams you. No charge, no initiative, no desire to do anything or have any kind of direction, just malaise, and when you finally come across someone that might lift it up and out of you, you let them die instead of yourself. You had literally just opened up a box of bandages, hadn't you? And I let her keep talking. No more of that, now. I'm the fucking queen of France, for all I care.

"Why couldn't you just suck it up, huh? Take it in stride, get up off the ground, keep on trucking, y'know? Make it to the goddamn party instead of stopping it before it starts. All your fault, it is, I bet. We would've made beautiful music together. Something intense, and weird, and fun, a war cry or something. Resist, resist, resist! Resist through not killing! Peace finds a way, right?"

Lili laughed. Kizi looked so frail, like a doll left on a shelf for years, sewn smile stuck on its sad little face, drooping into itself and letting gravity take hold.

There was still blood on both of their clothes. A lot more on Kizi, but Lili wished she had another layer on, or something she could change into.

"There's gonna be some tax for this. You gotta pay up, give me something, yeah? Fuck it, right? Say something, will ya? It's a game, it's called tollbooth, it'll be fun, see?"

Lili bent down and pulled Kizi's cross necklace up and around her head, putting it around her own. Shoes, necklace. Playing dress up at the end of the world. Her world. That's all there ever was, all there'd be. Everything ended with her. Might as well, at least.

She gave Kizi a little kiss on the cheek, too. Her skin was pale. Really cold, too.

Then, she pulled away, and took one last look down.

"You're getting outta here too. Kizi, Jennifer, both of you, no matter what happens."

Was there a little piece of herself that she could pass along, to make sure it kept going forward, out of the island and back to her family?

She had lost her glasses a while ago.

Sighing, Lili turned away, and walked slowly back into the asylum, not looking back.


"Spot the rot, oh, spot the rot, ah, spot the rot, we say. Spot the rot, hmm, spot the rot, yeah, while feeding her some say, that's how it went, mhm, yeah, not getting it wrong today. Nope, nope, nope, nada, zilch, zero, no mistakes, no regrets! Regrets for losers, hmm? Ain't no loser, that's for sure. Ain't nothing but a hound dog, I think. Or a cat? No, no cats. Mom's allergic. Or was it bats? Rats? Rots. Spot the rot, we tell the tot, while feeding him some say. Say it ain't so. God, I fucking miss home. Neon meat dreams, of a octa-fish, that's what those are. That's what I am. Fishy, fishy, fishy, phony. Like a tweety bird. Queen of France."

The hallway seemed like it was swaying as she walked back to the room. Words kept her grounded in reality, somehow. Anything to take her mind away from the past and the future and sit it back down firmly in the now.

Lili was still muttering to herself when she walked back through the door. Al was still there, standing around, not shooting things.

She could try and fight him. Kizi wasn't around to object to it, and it'd be fitting to avenge her. She gave him a cursory look, up and down. She'd fight him, knock his brains out, and put him on display in the room. Peace required sacrifices, didn't it? Lili didn't know much of anything about anything, she realized. Lili was a simple girl.

"What're you looking at?" she asked, walking over to the tables with the posters on it. She probably spent more time than was necessary outside. The sky was probably dim by now. In the windowless cafeteria, there wasn't any way to tell, but that's what Lili's internal clock said at the very least. Never mind the fact that her all-nighter had fucked with her sleep cycle. What she said, went. That's how it would be, from then on.

"I'm the fucking queen of France," she said in a sing song voice, shrugging her shoulders. Lili traced Kizi's handwriting on the poster, feeling each intricate line and dash. The ones she had made were amateurish in comparison, like something a three year old would draw. Or a fetus, with undeveloped limbs. She pulled back her hands and stared at them, small splashes of color from the still-wet markers on her fingers. Her hands were shaking again. She needed a cigarette, and badly.

"You got any smokes?" were the next few words out of her mouth, as she turned and looked back at Al. Maybe she'd kiss him, instead. She'd never kissed a boy before, and, now that she thought about it, she probably never would. Was that even something she'd like? No, she wouldn't kiss Al, she'd have to give Ben a kiss when he got back from his errand. Right on the mouth, a big-time smooch.

I think I'm taking this rather well.
~~~~~ Creativity's Burning Pyre ~~~~~

NOW: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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Alessio just stood there and thought and recaptured what exactly had happened the last minutes ago. Then, Lili returned.

Alessio shook his head.

"I'm no..."

Smoker. But he did not bother to finish. He hated his voice echoing the room. It was insulting to Kizi who just had died in front of them. He enjoyed the silence.

Lili meanwhile seemed oddly upbeat, despite her looking like she cried. She sang. It was silly for Lili to do that, but Alessio tried his hardest to not judge her for doing that crazy stuff. It was fine.

Alessio was not sure if it was the tone of her voice or himself feeling to so hated, but he guessed a thing. Lili did not like him.

He should leave Lili alone, Lili probably needed time for herself. So Alessio moved towards the table with the posters and read them more thoroughly.
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"Not a smoker. Gotcha."

Smoking inside was probably a bad idea anyways. She'd been doing decently well without cigarettes, and she was beginning to think that the stress of being stuck on Spiderland was enough to distract her from feelings of withdrawal, but for whatever reason that explanation didn't quite sit right with her.

Oh, and her parents would know she smoked by now. That was probably one of the least of her worries, given that she couldn't go home again.

Or could she?

No, no, it wasn't worth the thought. She hadn't considered it in the days she'd been there, and she wouldn't start considering it now.

Al had gone to look over at the posters.

"Might as well start putting those up now," she remarked, and walked over, looking over the posters one last time.

Wait, did we ever grab tape?


At some point during the day, Lili scratched out Kizi's name on the list.


By the time Lili was done putting posters up - two inside (commandments and a general purpose statement) and three in the hallways, with a few more left over, it was early the next morning. She hadn't slept - it felt almost like she forgot how. She'd lost track of Al, stopped caring what it was he did. Now, she was just waiting for her friends to come back. Lili sat on a barren table, her feet kicking back and forth like a metronome.

All she could do was hum to herself. Off key, too, to annoy Al.

That'd get him back. That'd get him back good.
~~~~~ Creativity's Burning Pyre ~~~~~

NOW: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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Alessio looked at the posters. They were well-made. He liked them. As Lili suggested that he put up a poster, he took one and hung it on a wall in the cafeteria. That had taken much of his energy.

Other than that Alessio had not been productive that night. No, in fact, he slept. He actually just slept, hoping to get some energy back. When he was tired, he placed his shotgun and bag to Kizi's gun and slept next to them, so no one could steal them while he slept.

Some off-key tune woke him up. It was like an alarm clock.

It was early morning, but he wanted to keep on sleeping. The sound though made Alessio open his eyes, but he said nothing and stared at the ceiling.
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"Eugh. I hate being up this early."

((Penelope Fitzgerald continued from Hyphaema))

Penelope yawned as the group trudged down the hall, towards the cafeteria of the asylum. They had gotten lost on the way over, the dingy and faded signs not giving them any clues as to how to navigate the labyrinthine halls of the abandoned hospital. They had soon found themselves giving up and taking silent refuge in the rooms of the asylum, waiting the rest of the night out.

Once the morning came, they immediately moved towards the cafeteria again, her worries about the status of their friends growing ever more frantic as they spent time away from them.

Eventually they figured out where they were going, and arrived at the doors of the cafeteria, relieved to be somewhere that they knew was safe. Somewhere where friends were.

Penelope took the initiative and pressed the doors open, announcing herself to the room in a jovial fashion reminiscent of how she would announce her return home after a night out with friends.

"Guuuuuuys! We're back! We're okay, no need to worry about... about us..."

Penelope was taken aback.

"A-Al? Why are you... how are you here..?"

Why was Alessio in the cafeteria? He had been her friend back at Cochise, but the announcements had shown that he had gone far off the deep end, way beyond the point of no return. Why would he be with Ben, and Lili, and Kizi?

Her eyes strayed around the room, looking for her friends. Lili was there, as expected, but there were two notable absences.

"...Is Ben not here? Did... did he never come back?"

"And... where's... where's Kizi?"

Her eyes had glanced over the pools of blood on the floor, only to stray back and lock on.

A song in the key of panic overtook her mind, she was unable to focus on anything else. That thick scarlet fluid that always made her breathing heavy, it was so blatantly fresh, and there was so much more than she had ever seen before in her life.

"Oh... oh no... no..."

Black spots danced across her vision.

"Not...... not........."

Penelope collapsed.
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((Raina Rose continued from Hyphaema))

Everything was going great until it wasn't. Raina, Penelope, and Johnny had holed up safely for the night and set out early, and though she ached with tiredness, Raina's mind was bright and sharp. They had to tread carefully at times thanks to the Danger Zone, but they made it back to the asylum before the announcement, so that they could link up with Ben, Lili, and Kiziah before heading to the asylum's library and then the bell tower. Raina was practically buzzing with excitement as they reached the old building, feeling her plan coming together at her fingertips.

Everything was going great until they set foot in the cafeteria and then, to borrow Cameron's phrase once more, it all went tits-up.

A few days ago, she might have been glad to see Al. A few days and a few names ago. Raina didn't have time to take in the scene because Penelope got there first, and there was...

God, there was a lot of blood. Raina didn't let herself stare at it, didn't have time anyway because she had to run to Penelope's side as her friend collapsed. She pulled Penelope up by the shoulders, supporting her so that she wouldn't see the blood on the floor... on Lili. On Al.

"Lili," she said when she found her voice, fighting to keep it steady. "Tell us what the hell happened here."

Tell us why Al is here, she didn't say, but everyone knew what she meant. Tell us where Kiziah is. And more importantly, Tell us if he's armed.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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[[Johnny McKay, continued from where the two girls above this post come from - yea, that link]]

Johnny knew it was naive. That moment yesterday - the night following - it was all just meant to be brief. Yeah, great to get back to Raina. Great to see Penelope. Great to have them safe and sound for just one more night.

Great as it could be, at least. Still, all came to an end. It hit Johnny like a truck, seeing all that blood and worse, seeing Al laying down there, menacingly.

Johnny would have clenched his fist, had it not hurt so much.

He shuffled close to Raina, hiding himself behind her.
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The cavalry arrived not a minute too soon. Collapsing all over themselves, fainting at the sight of blood, demanding answers to questions that Lili had trouble even processing. Johnny was with them, which was nice. Their family just kept on growing and growing and growing.

God, where did she start?

"Hey, guys," she greeted, pretending not to have heard their questions, "Ben's not with you? He hasn't made his way over here yet, so I'm starting to get a little worried."

Don't tell me that Ben's gone too. I swear, if Ben's dead, I'm going to...I'm gonna...

"We made the posters. Had a lot of fun doing it, too. Then Al came over and decided he was going to empty a round into the room without really looking. He was going to leave, too, but the posters caught his eye. Kizi managed to talk him down. Reform him. He's given up the ways of the gun now, and all it took was..."

She was starting to tear up.

"All it took was one last fuckin' kill."

Lili wiped at her eyes, getting rid of her tears. She hadn't cried before, so why should she start now?

"But hey, if we managed to turn Al to the good side, that means others will follow, right?"

She tried to force a smile, but all that came out was a tight lipped grimace. Then, she pointed over to Kizi's bag.

"Weapons are over there, by the way," she muttered.
~~~~~ Creativity's Burning Pyre ~~~~~

NOW: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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The door opened and people came in. Alessio tried to stand up from the ground by pushing himself up. Next to him still the weapons, no one took them while he slept.

It was just other people from Kizi's group. No dangerous people.

And Penelope collapsed. It looked like she was dead too. He did not know why and how, but Penelope was also probably dying. At first she looked like she was alright, but then she fell. Alessio felt very panicky while that happened, but he still just stood there.

As Raina asked questions, Lili answered them perfectly, summarising the events that had happened. There was no need for him to say anything.
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Penelope's eyes opened, her hand instinctively clutching her head in response to her head suddenly aching.

She stood up, lifting herself out of Raina's arms, swaying gently from side to side as she rubbed her eyes and re-familiarized herself with her surroundings. Black spots cleared from her vision as she looked between Raina, Johnny, and Al, only to briefly return as she noticed the blood spatters on Lili's clothes.

"I uh... sorry for fainting there," she murmured, as she turned her head away from Lili.

It had been a long time since she had last fainted from the sight of blood. The fainting spells would never lasted more than a handful of seconds, but the aftershocks often left her feeling bad for the rest of the day.

Her eyes strayed back towards the blood spatters covering Lili's clothes, only for them to dart away again.

"Okay..." She began, her head turned away from the person she was interrogating. "Where are Ben and Kizi?" She wondered if her questions had been answered before she had woke up. "And why is Al here and..?"

She glanced back over at Al, unsure of what to make of his presence. He had been her friend, but she wasn't sure if the Al she knew and loved was still there. He at least seemed to be friendly enough, given that Lili was with him and not yet another corpse, but she couldn't help but feeling distrustful. She hadn't been able to convince Astrid, and Astrid hadn't even killed anyone at that point. How could they have managed to calm down a known killer?

"Just uh... fill me in on what happened and what you know. And if you already explained while I was out... sorry about asking again."
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So that's how it was. Kiziah was gone, swapped out for Al, but that was all just peachy keen, right? It was a proof of concept, even if it had taken an unexpected toll in return. Raina vaguely recalled some line about everything having a price from her brief foray into watching Fullmetal Alchemist. She clenched her trembling jaw and tried to force herself to accept it.

Only no, she didn't accept it, she wasn't even going to try, because this was all bullshit.

They weren't going to die together. They weren't going to buddy up with killers and people who made stupid mistakes that could ruin everything, and all signs pointed to Al falling into both those categories like the world's worst Venn diagram.

Raina couldn't speak, and it took a few seconds to realize that she was shaking not with fear or grief, but with rage.

How. Dare. He. How fucking dare Al barge in here and ruin everything when she was finally getting all her shit together? How dare he just sit there like he had been scolded by a teacher instead of killing someone - killing multiple someones?

God, that was a whole thing in the shows she loved. The bad guy has a change of heart, sees the error of his ways, and joins the right side. It takes a while for them to trust him, but he proves true. His heart is purified, and he makes up for his mistakes.

She had never quite realized how stupid all of that was. There was something stunning to learn about yourself: that the reason stories of forgiveness and redemption felt so powerful was that you yourself were incapable of forgiveness for some things. Raina had preached equality and justice and second chances for the downtrodden, and only now was she really faced with the fact that, deep down, she believed that there were exceptions to who deserved those things too.

Before she could force any of that out verbally, the hidden speakers around the room turned on and they were surrounded by Danya's voice.

First dead was Ben. Raina hadn't thought about Jeremy much, funnily enough. He was dead too, just a little ways down the line.

Oh, and that "one more murder" spiel? Lies.

Kiziah wasn't on the announcement, and part of Raina wondered why, but the rest of her was focused on the fact that Al's name was still called even though Kizi's wasn't. She was vaguely aware that Penelope had started freaking out again, but she stepped past her and planted herself between Al and the bags that Lili had said contained the weapons.

One more murder, her ass. One lucky in to a group he could decimate from the inside, more likely. Or, somehow even worse, a legitimate belief that Raina and Penelope would just accept him back because they had been friends, when so many other friends were dead. Lily, the other Lily that Raina had been looking for was dead too. She hadn't gotten a second chance, and frankly, she was more useful than Al.

So no. There would be no redemption arc for Alessio Rigano. Not while Raina had anything to say about it.

There was a brief pause after the announcement ended, with only Penelope's noises of grief filling the silence. Raina fixed her eyes on Al's and her hands twitched, unsure if she should reach for the grenade or the gun that had belonged to Kiziah.

"Get out. Now."
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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He had not dared to say anything. Anything of substance, really, which he could say. Penelope asked for what happened, during her little fainting spell, but Johnny didn't need to utter a single word 'cause the announcements came blaring on. Didn't make a lot of shit clear, to be fair. Kizi's name wasn't dropped, for whatever reason, but Johnny knew the truth of it anyway. He wouldn't need to say anything to Penelope at all.

As for Al. Well, Johnny could exactly add to that. Raina - in three words - said all that had to be said. He stepped closer to her. His eyes fell on her hands, and seeing them twitch ever so slightly with that barely-restraint anger crept Johnny out. He thought about a gesture, something to support Raina, something to show solidarity, but he couldn't think of any.

His hand reached out for her's, but he retracted in the fraction of a second.

"I'm not the brightest cookie around here... but seriously, man. Come on, do you really believe Al to turn out all goodie-shoes now?"
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