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Que sera, sera; Private; we need character development
Topic Started: May 1 2017, 11:37 AM (968 Views)
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Cause what you see isn't always the truth
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Alba Reyes continued from Cast in the Name of God))

Alba rolled over in the bed and planted her feet on the ground. She hunched over, her eyes closed and a soft moan leaving her throat. The announcements had just finished, and she was already feeling quite crummy. Added to being on this island for a week with poor nutrition and regular anxiety, Alba was starting to feel a lot more emotionally and mentally drained. She stretched her neck to deal with the crick she had from sleeping, rubbing over the irritated spot with her hand. She let out a sigh.

She couldn't find Blair. Once again, she had run after someone, only for them to slip away from her. She even went back across the bridge, suspecting that Blair had gone that way. By the time she realized she wouldn't find Blair, the sun had set and she needed to find shelter. She went to the B dorms and locked herself in a bedroom. She had hoped that Enzo had helped Georgia, and that she'd be able to find them again tomorrow. There had to be something good to happen tomorrow.

The announcements told her otherwise. Georgia had died from her injury, and Blair was credited for it. Jeremy had also died, meaning that Blair wasn't able to help him with the people he was looking for. Worse, one of the people he was looking for had killed him. Now Alba knew Caedyn would be dangerous to stay around if she was killing her friends. Alba would have to remember that if she found Caedyn.

Bryony, Kimiko, Brendan, Jonathan, Candice, Blair, and Enzo were still alive, so Alba took note of that. Perhaps she'd be able to find someone on her list and things could get on track again. She had to explain her actions to someone and she needed to have someone tell her she wasn't terrible for what happened to Kaitlyn. More than half the abducted kids were dead at this point, so it would start to get harder to find anyone on the island, and most people left were killers, so she'd have to be careful around anyone she met.

"Well, I am a killer too, so people will probably be careful around me as well," Alba muttered to herself.

Alba stood up and stretched her back. There wasn't much time to waste. She had to be off. She could eat a protein bar while walking and call that brunch. Last night, Alba had transferred most of Kaitlyn's items into her bag, depriving the need for two bags. The uzi and min were tucked safely away, and Alba picked up the rifle. It had been weird, but the rifle was starting to become somewhat comforting in her hands. Maybe it's because she had more time with it and didn't get it by killing someone, but the rifle was starting to become part of her.

Alba slung her bag over her shoulder and kept the rifle in her hand. She opened the door to the dorm and stepped into the hall. She was on a mission today, and she was ready to complete it.
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Alba froze when she heard a voice calling out to her. Someone was already threatening her. She couldn't believe that someone had already found her and was already on edge. But after a few seconds, Alba realized she recognized the voice. She was momentarily stunned, but then lowered the rifle.

"Brendan...it's me..." she said.

She remained in place. She had found her friend again after two horrible days, but she couldn't bring herself to move. She didn't know what to do now.
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Alba remained in place as Brendan made his way around the corner. He lowered his gun and then began to apologize for shouting at her. Alba stared at Brendan, her mouth slightly open. It looked like Brendan was alone. He and Fiyori must have gotten separated at some point in the last few days.

She continued to look over him. Judging by how he spoke, the last few days must have also been terrible for him, especially if he was threatening the sounds of footsteps. Alba swallowed a lump in her throat. She wanted to talk, but wasn't sure what to say.

Everything came flooding back to her. Kaitlyn pulling a weapon on her, forcing her into the cave, her smile as the water began to flood in, and the zombie-like movements as she pursued Alba after being shot. Then came the image of Georgia being shot by Blair. All that blood. Alba needed to Brendan about this. She needed to tell him the truth about these events and what she went through. She had to explain why Kaitlyn died, and why she became a killer.

But she couldn't say that. Alba stared at Brendan, her breathing starting to pick up. Finally, she squinted her eyes as they began to fill with tear. Alba let out a cry and began to sob, remaining frozen in place as tears began to fall down her cheeks. She turned her head down and let the tears start to fall onto the ground at her feet. This isn't how she wanted to present herself to Brendan when she finally found him, but she couldn't help it.
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Alba clutched Brendan when he came up to hug her. It felt good to get a hug after everything that had happened here. She couldn't remember the last time she had one; maybe it was when she hugged her mom goodbye the day she left for the science trip. Whenever it was, it felt good to get some pleasant physical contact after a week of torture. Plus, Brendan was doing what she hoped he would do if they found each other.

Brendan said he was sure she had a reason for killing Kaitlyn. Alba pressed her head against his chest.

"I'll tell you," she said. "I'll tell you everything."

Alba looked up and into Brendan's eyes.

"Brendan, please let me tell you exactly what happened. Preferably not here in the open."
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"Okay, let's go," Alba said.



A few minutes later, Alba and Brendan were in one of the dorm rooms. They had moved a desk under the door knob, blocking anyone from coming in. Alba sat on the old bed, her hands cupped together in her lap. She kept her gaze down to her lap as well. She found it hard to look Brendan in the eyes right now. She was confessing to a murder she committed, but she found it quite hard to look her friend in the eyes and explain it. She resolved to speak loudly, clearly, and honestly about what had happened.

"Alright. Here's what happened..." she began.

Alba breathed in, then out.

"I found Kait by the cove. I was so happy to find a roller derby teammate here. Sure, she had killed someone, but Kaitlyn deserved some fair treatment. Innocent until proven guilty, y'know. Well, at least as it applies here. And everything started fine. We were just chatting, catching up on what happened, and it all made sense to me. I thought Kaitlyn would be cool and could help me find you guys.

"But then she turned. She pulled a crossbow on me and forced me to play a game with her. She gave me a gun and took me into the cove. She wanted to play a game; one she called 'High Tide'. It was like Chicken, but with sea water. We had to sit in a cave pointing weapons at one another and if one of us tried to flee, we had to shoot that person.

"It was so horrifying; standing in a dark cave as cold water flooded in. But Kaitlyn was excited. She was smiling the whole time and enjoying it. It was like she was in some other world. She was happy that she was about to drown, and she didn't care how foolish the whole thing was. She was living in the moment, and nothing else mattered.

"Finally, the water was getting too high, and suddenly, while Kaitlyn was making a really bad joke, she got really mad and shot at me. She missed, but I flinched. I hit the trigger and shot her. I shot her several times with the gun. And if you could believe it, she was still smiling. She was coming at me smiling and congratulating me. I swam out of the cove, but she didn't come out. I shot and killed my friend.

"I know I didn't mean to kill her, and I know I wouldn't have done it if I wasn't put in that situation by her, but I still feel guilty about it. I've chatted with a few others about it since then, but I still can't stop thinking about it. God, everything's going wrong. I killed Kaitlyn, then Jeremy died sometime after I met him, and then Blair shot Georgia for no reason. Everything fell apart so quickly."

Alba looked up at Brendan. Tears were falling down her cheeks.

"Brendan...I don't want to believe I'm a bad person, but why do I feel like one?"
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Alba stared at Brendan as he knelt before her and spoke. Brendan gave his interpretation of Kaitlyn's game, one that Alba was almost surprised that she hadn't considered yet. Maybe Kaitlyn was trying to commit suicide and constructed the whole thing to ensure she'd die and that Alba could be better off. Alba did gain an extra gun and a land mine, plus extra food and water. She had her one kill, so if she somehow was the last person standing, she could actually go home. Alba felt seized by this idea. Her friend wanted to die, and Alba was so terrified that she wasn't able to see it.

Brendan then revealed something worse. The girl he killed Jeremiah for wasn't Raina, but Nancy Kyle. Brendan saved a murderer, and he probably felt responsible for everyone she killed after that. From the sounds of his rant after, he still wasn't convinced he was a good person. Maybe there was some way to accurately evaluate their killings, but Alba didn't think it mattered right now. Intention or not, they were in the same place right now.

"Bren..." Alba said, "You're not a bad person. If I'm not a bad person, you're not either. I really don't think there's much separating us at this point."

Alba leaned forward, keeping her gaze down. She rested her right arm on her leg and placed her fist against her forehead.

"I'm tired of it all too. At this point, I don't think there's much dancing around it: we're all doing exactly what those terrorists wanted. We tried to be better, but we aren't. I don't think anyone could last more than a week here if they weren't willing to do bad things."

Alba rubbed her forehead against her fist, moving her head between her knuckles slowly.

"At the least, while we're still here, I want to act in a way that will let me actually go home if I'm the only one left."
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Alba froze. She turned her head up and met with Brendan's eyes. His last statement hung in the air, and her mouth fell slightly agape.

"...why?"

Jae did shoot him. She knew that well enough. But this was the first time Brendan wanted to actually take someone's life, and she needed to know his reasons for it.
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Alba looked at Brendan as he explained his reasons for wanting to kill Jae. She could see he was tying a lot of his worries and insecurities to Jae, which Alba wasn't sure was entirely healthy. She knew Jae was dangerous and posed a threat to a lot of people here, but she wasn't sure if hunting him down was the right thing to do. Not only that, but Jon had apparently killed Amanda and nearly killed Brendan as well. If Jon really was going to be that way, she figured it wouldn't be good to find him anymore. She wasn't entirely sure about Dorothy, but she trusted Brendan if he said she wasn't right to be around.

Alba closed her eyes and sighed. It hurt that her closest friend on the island had reached such a point that he wanted to go out and kill people. Still, she needed to understand fully before they moved on.

"So, if that's how you feel," she began, "is that what you plan to do now? Wander the island hoping you find Jae and Jon so you can kill them?"

Alba stared at Brendan.

"And if you kill them, then what?"
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So this was the plan for now. Kill Jae and Jon, then find Ty and apologize. Alba looked at Brendan with his weak smile, but glanced down slightly after a few seconds. There was something about how Brendan was speaking that was hard for Alba to accept. She slowly shook her head.

"Brendan, killing people doesn't make you strong," Alba said. "Killing Kaitlyn didn't make me feel any stronger or better for the situation we're in. Yes, Jae and Jon are dangerous, but you don't have to kill them to prove you're stronger than they are. That's what those people want."

Alba looked back up at Brendan.

"Listen, I'm your friend, and I'll gladly help you out on this island, but if you're really planning on hunting down people to prove to everyone you're not what they think you are, I think it'll end really badly. Please just think it over."
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Alba sighed in relief when Brendan said he'd think it through. That was good. They had been relatively careful the last week, and being careful would probably keep them going for another week. She was sure they could work it out and find a better course of action. Unfortunately, there were some sounds in the hall that grabbed Brendan's attention and made Alba freeze up.

"I don't know," Alba whispered. "Let's just stay quiet, see if they go somewhere else."

Maybe it was another friend. Maybe it was another player. But caution was the word-of-the-day, so Alba figured they should follow it. They could wait and let this person pass, just to be safe.

Alba then slowly lifted the rifle and held it in her hands, again, just to be safe.
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Alba remained in place as Brendan made his way to the door. The person in the halls began to push on the door, moving the table blocking it. Alba mentally cursed herself. She thought the table was high enough to block the door, or at least heavy enough. But it wasn't, and the mysterious person was coming in.

Brendan was already on the defensive, pulling his gun on whoever was coming in. Alba remained sitting on the bed. She wasn't sure what was going to happen next, but she hoped Brendan was going to be cautious.

She wanted to say something, but found herself unable to speak. She just wanted to see who was there.
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Everything happened so fast, Alba felt like the room was moving in fast forward while she was stuck on pause. The girl, who she realized was Jaime Schanbacher, was in a really bad mood, one that didn't seem to be affected by a gun pointed at her face. At the same time, Brendan wasn't really handling it that well, arguing back. One Jaime pushed the gun aside and it fired, Alba knew things weren't going to go well here.

"Hey, um-" Alba began as the two continued to bicker.

All logic and caution had been thrown to the wind. It was as if the conversation Alba just had with Brendan didn't happen. Brendan shot at the cantankerous girl, who then had the nerve to fight back despite a bullet in her back. Alba didn't know what to do. She wanted to protect Brendan, but they were in cramped quarters. Brendan and Jaime did their fighting through a half-open door with a table in the way. If Alba fired the rifle from where she was, she could hit Brendan.

As the tiny girl hit Brendan, Alba realized it was all going wrong. Brendan fired again, and this time, Jaime went down. After a few seconds, Jaime was dead. Alba remained frozen in shock. She looked up at Brendan, who had a terrifying smile on his face. Alba felt her stomach sink. Brendan wasn't the same person he was a few days ago. He couldn't even make an effort for her. If this was how he was going to act when some dumb, angry girl came up and cursed them out, what was going to happen if they found someone less dangerous like Bryony or Candice?

Alba quietly moved behind Brendan and raised the rifle. She put the barrel of the gun to the back of Brendan's head, then clicked off the safety. She swallowed a lump in her throat, and remained silent as she kept the gun steady to her friend's head.
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Alba kept the rifle steady against the back of Brendan's head. She breathed in and out, sniffling a bit. Brendan's switch flipped back. He had his devilish smile, but was back to sad and sympathetic the moment he realized she could kill him.

"You...you didn't even try..." she said to Brendan.

Alba raised her arms a bit to handle the weight of the gun, moving the barrel up his head a bit. Her throat was starting to hurt.

"I asked you to try and be cautious, to try and watch what happened when you met someone else. You automatically assumed the worst when she appeared. She wasn't looking for revenge. She wasn't threatening either of us. She didn't even kill anyone you cared about. All you had to do was tell her this room was occupied and slam the door in her face. I mean, yeah she wasn't nice, and maybe her behavior wasn't the wisest, but she didn't have to die because of that.

Alba closed her eyes and clenched her jaw. She opened her eyes and pushed the barrel forward a little.

"But there's something I need to know, Brendan. Why were you smiling when you killed her? Please tell me why you seemed so happy that you murdered that girl."
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It was all about power and control. That was why Brendan felt so good about killing Jaime. Alba couldn't believe the sweet boy from home was motivated by something so vile. It was making it harder to find a reason to not pull the trigger. If he was this far gone, what was next? He kills someone innocent? He goes overboard killing someone? He kills her?

Alba clenched her jaw as her eyes started to fill with tears. Brendan was saying that he lost her now. He was offering to leave or to let her kill him. Alba clenched harder, as if her teeth were about to shatter from the pressure.

"I don't want you to leave..." she gritted as tears began to fall down her cheeks. "I certainly don't want to kill you...but..."

Alba adjusted her arms, moving the rifle a bit and nudging Brendan's head.

"What am I supposed to do?" she blurted, her voice weak. "If I were to kill you right now, then what would I do? If you've got a reason why I shouldn't shoot you, please tell me. If you don't, then tell me you'd rather die right here and now, and why killing you would be my best course of action, because there better be a damn good reason to kill my best friend."

Alba sniffled and fluttered her eyes.

"Please, Brendan. What are we supposed to do now that we're at this point? Please tell me."
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Alba remained frozen as Brendan turned to face her. He was no longer smiling like he was earlier. It looked like the gravity of his crime was weighing down on him, and he was now certain of how much of a line he had crossed with her. He was suggesting he go away and find Ty on his own, leaving Alba alone. Alba grimaced as Brendan suggested that.

Alba closed her eyes, keeping the rifle on him. So he didn't want to die. That much was clear. But now he wanted to go off on his own again. That wasn't cool. She had finally found her friend again, and now he wanted to leave her to wallow in self-pity. With everything that had happened here, with people getting lost and promises being broken, Alba was getting sick of it. The terrorists already got her to kill someone, and now they wanted her to kill her friend or send him to someone who may kill him.

The pained expression in Alba's face disappeared. She opened her eyes and looked Brendan dead in his.

"No."

Alba lowered the rifle. Her face turned serious.

"I'm not letting you run off on your own. You don't get to run away from this."

Alba stepped closer to Brendan, putting less than a few inches between them.

"Do you want to know why?"
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