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Rivers in the Desert
Topic Started: Sep 10 2017, 11:57 AM (5,892 Views)
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((Candice Banks continued from Rain, Rain, Come Again))


If you had asked Candice about the number of students in her school, it would have been a topic that she didn't really "get." Sure, she probably knew somewhere in the back of her mind a rough ballpark of how many kids were enrolled, but it was hard attaching numbers that large to a crowd. Put a large group of people in front of her and it was hard to really say whether it was a hundred people, or seventy, or three hundred. It all just ran together into the same vague category of "That's a lot of people."

This trip had been one of those things. How many people had come along? Candice didn't know the exact number, but it was "a lot." More than a classroom, less than the entire school. That was the kind of vague classification that she had for how many people were on this island. That was why it had come as a shock when the new announcement had given a much easier to understand situation.

Four people.

It shouldn't have been as much of a shock as it was. For the past day everybody on the island had been crammed into a single building. Sure, the asylum was fairly large, but even with every living student concentrated into that single location, encounters with others had been almost nonexistant. It should have been obvious that there weren't all that many left, but still...

Four people.


That was the kind of thing that Candice was thinking as she obediently made her way to the top of the building. She opened the door at the top of the stairs to find nobody waiting for her. Well, nobody that she could see, anyway, though given the conditions it wouldn't be that surprising if she'd missed something. Seriously, who the hell had decided to send them up to the roof in the middle of a storm? Forget about getting murdered, it was like this stupid game was going to be decided by whoever injured the fewest vital organs after falling off the building.

She wanted so much to be able to just turn around and walk back inside, but that was obviously not an option. Staying right by the door would probably be legal, but it definitely wasn't smart. She wasn't sure how many doors led up here, but staying right next to one of them sounded like a terrible idea. She couldn't afford to hang around in the first place people would look at.

Candice cautiousy made her way out onto the roof.
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You know, for all the introspection and thinking Fiyori had done the last few days, one thing had completely escaped her.

It wasn't really important, now, not really. In fact, maybe it was the most inconsequential of all things that mattered. Or maybe it wasn't. Fiyori wasn't so sure about these things. Either way, it was the kind of thing that made, like, super obvious sense in hindsight. The kind of thing that you suddenly realize and wonder why you never thought of it earlier.

Fiyori was different. She was black, a racial minority in Kingman. She was taller than most girls her age - hell, any age. She was a strange laughing creature that caused disgust and bewilderment wherever she went. And to top it off, her eyes had an unusual hue. Blue, and something that marked her - always, everywhere - as an other.

Being other from the others was troubling, wasn't it?

And yet, Fiyori's glasses and the clips in her hair were matching her eye colors.

Hm.

---

The reason why she thought about it, or really, why it came to her mind was a bit simple. There was another batch of announcements. It seemed there were only four people left, Fiyori included. Min-jae survived, which was good. Really, it made her happy. Then there were Nate and Candice. Names for which Fiyori could place faces in her mind. Still, names that surprised her. She couldn't recall meeting either of them, so that was going to be interesting.

Or not.

Fiyori didn't know about that.

Regardless, the announcements had addressed her directly for the first time. And it was scathing to hear. These people, these terrorists - they had observed every single step she had taken these last ten days. They had seen it all. They had heard it all. And yet even they, in their depraved minds and morals couldn't understand what made Fiyori tick.

In the end, she was still the other. Nothing had changed in that regard. For the people in front of the screens, the terrorists and the other three saps she would - alas - forever remain an alien.

Alas? Fiyori halted.

Hm.

No.

Let's try that again.





Finally, Fiyori Senay was a god-fucking alien.

---



"What's up, cunts and gentle-bitches? Fi the Bee in da house!"

Silence answered. Behind Fiyori, the doors to the roof - or from her perspective now, the doors to the inside - feel into the threshold with a loud and metallic bang. She had not expected being the first one. At least, Fiyori was unable to spot anyone on the roof. That was a shame, somehow. She had hoped to make a fashionably late entrance.

Ah well.
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This was it.

Matt had been right, it was just him and three others, because everyone else was dead. Just like Matt had said, if he wanted to go home, he had to kill someone. They’d made that clear, that that was just what had to happen. If he wanted this to be over, there was no other way.

Nate was still thinking about the day before, and he didn’t know when he’d stop. He wanted to make sense of it all: Matt’s pointless death, his remorse, how he still wanted Nate to do the very thing he’d decided was so stupid. Even if it was in self-defence, even if it meant this all being over, how was he supposed to do it? Why was he supposed to do it?

He gripped the jacket draped around him, pulling it tight. He was really tired of these questions. He was just really tired.

He made his way up the stairs, thinking about the other three, but wasn’t sure what to do from there. Whether or not he knew them, what he thought of them, it didn’t make any of it easier, since they all had to die.

That was it. They all had to die. That was all there was to it anymore.

He gripped the jacket again. Looked down at the gun in his hand.

The machete had been left behind. It was heavy, and carrying both weapons got in the way. In the end, he supposed, he didn’t have the strength to use it. It stank of Jon’s corpse, anyway, so he didn’t miss it. And besides, he had a gun now; that was all he needed to go home, right? He just had to shoot someone, kill them, and that'd be it. That was what it had all been building up to.

His lip didn't tremble, nor did his eyes well up. He just swallowed that lump in his throat, and pushed open the door.

He saw Fiyori. He stood there, but only for a moment. The gun didn't move.

“Hey.”
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The weight of the gun, as heavy as it was, just now seemed to register with Fiyori. Her arm seemed to drop to the ground, for just a moment, and maybe just in her mind. Fiyori turned around.

There was Nate, and Fiyori didn't raise her gun either.

"Yo."

Fiyori mustered him, and found him to be in a shoddy condition. Not a surprise, of course. They all were in some shoddy conditions, more or less.

Or were they? She didn't really know about Candice, but Fiyori supposed she would see that soon enough.

Anyway, she continued to stare at him for a few seconds more. Couldn't help but smile a little seeing him. She didn't remember him being so small. Not even compared to her.

Fiyori faced away again, and set in motion.

"Come, away from the door."
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Fiyori smiled. Nate didn’t smile back.

She beckoned. He paused.

He followed. Still didn’t know why.
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((Min-jae Parker continued from When I grow up, I want to be Nothing At All))

Jae had to stop about two-thirds of the way up the stairs so that he could throw up.

His progress had been slow and shaky to begin with; the splint on his leg was coming apart and he had nothing left to fix it with, so he had turned to using the rifle as a crutch and hoping that the safety didn't turn off on its own and end up blowing off what was left of his hand. He'd had half a mind to not even get up off the kitchen floor, especially once it registered that there were going to be stairs involved in herding the last few stragglers together, but well...

God, he didn't want to die with Kimiko's corpse staring at him. Not in the spot where Fiyori had loomed over him and mockingly deemed him fit to live a few hours more.

Fuck Fiyori. He had vaguely recognized the other two names listed off, but hadn't really cared about them. If he was going to do this, throw her sarcastic mercy back in her face, he had to do it in her presence.

So he shambled along, stopped to vomit on the stairs like the kind of drunken hobo he probably resembled at this point, and then shambled on some more, slowly and painfully making his way up to the roof.

The rain was cold on Jae's face, drawing trails through the grime and dried blood on his skin and waking him up a little from the lingering warm fuzzies of the alcohol-and-painkiller cocktail he'd been indulging. He still felt sluggish, but there was enough cognizant thought now to wonder about what sort of damage he had been doing to himself and whether it had a further toll to take than he was yet feeling. Even the small amount of weak painkillers he'd had left would probably do something adverse with the drink, right?

Four people left, himself included. Jae, Fiyori, and two nobodies.

Okay, it was actually just four nobodies. But Jae was still the star of his own show, so he got top billing as the chief nobody of the who-gives-a-shit primetime hour.

He was breathing hard after forcing himself up the stairs and he shuffled to the side so that he could lean against the roof to the side of the door. Nobody in sight yet. He couldn't be the first one up, could he? Fiyori at least hadn't been in worse shape than Jae when he had last seen her.

Maybe there was nobody here at all. Maybe he had actually died in the kitchen and his body just hadn't figured it out yet.

Maybe Hell and Purgatory were the same thing and you never left.
"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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Having no idea what to do, Candice more-or-less meandered about the roof. Strictly speaking, a more purposeful pattern of movement would probably have been better for accomplishing pretty much any goal, but since she didn't really have any goal in mind that was a moot point.

It might have been a smart idea to find someplace that she could defend, but she had no idea what kind of place that would be. Even just glancing around, anywhere she looked seemed to be some combination of "dangerous to stand on," "too open," or "too obvious." Maybe one of the other survivors could find someplace useful, but Candice couldn't even think of what to look for.

She'd had a brief thought that they had never managed to find Sandra's body, and that might be visible from somewhere up here. It wasn't like there'd be any point to finding it, though, since she couldn't leave the roof without exploding. And if it were visible from somewhere, it'd probably be from some point right on the edge where it was too dangerous to stand.

Pretty much everything she could think of doing was pointless now. Thus, aimless meandering.

Or rather, there was a bit of an obvious goal, that being the one that began with finding the others. She definitely didn't want to be found, but come to think of it, sticking near the entrance so that she could keep an eye on the other three was a way smarter idea than a rooftop stroll. Worst case scenario was that they noticed her and she'd have to try to run, which was a bit better than the current worst case of "get noticed, have nowhere to run." Okay, so the worst case for both was actually the one where she would get shot, but since the result of that would be the same no matter what she was in the process of doing at the time it didn't really help in making decisions. With that, Candice carefully made her way back towards the door from which she'd come.
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V6 Characters
G31 - Candice Banks (adopted from Somersault) - The Rooftop
G35 - Bernadette Thomas (adopted from Imehal) (Deceased) - Northwest Cliffs

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The roof was quite big. Fiyori realized that this was the first time that she was on the roof itself. All the other times, she might have seen it from below or from afar, but that could not really count as 'seeing' it. So she had always needed to use her imagination, when the topic of the roof came up somehow. Not that it came up often, but still, as a matter of fact she had to use her creativity.

And the roof was big. Somehow, bigger than she anticipated, but also smaller. Did that make any sense? Likely not, but Fiyori didn't give a fuck.

Regardless, the cover opportunities on the roof were somewhat lacking. That was bad, she guessed. The little cover there was, was mostly a matter of sitting at the right angles and not getting looked at from the wrong angles. Not very reliable, but that was how it was.

In fact, she had already spotted a figure in the distance. Given the lack of brooding that figure partook in, Fiyori reasoned that she had just spotted Candice.

She wasn't really in the mood to talk to Candice though. If she was lucky, Min-jae would appear and distract her, and her him, for a while.

Fiyori's little walk stopped. A few strands of hair were played with as the wind flew over the asylum. She turned around, confirming that the steps she heard behind were Nate's. The two of them had reached the edge of the roof. From then on, every stop forward would be a step downward. And with a good enough chance, the last step they would take.

So instead she sat down, feet dangling freely and all. She noted the coldness of the ground, and patted the spot next to her free of dirt.
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The rain dripped down his face as Nate followed behind Fiyori, not bothering to say a word. He didn’t question where they were going, or what they were going to do. He simply didn’t have the energy to, or maybe he just didn’t really care.

As they approached the roof’s edge, the landscape of the island came into view from their picturesque vantage point. It might’ve been a nice sight, if it wasn’t a sprawling graveyard full of horrible memories. The chapel, where he’d met Matt. The bridge, where he’d tried to jump. That beach, where he’d questioned what the point of it had all been for the first time. It was weird, seeing all those places from one spot. Thinking back to the people he’d met there, all of whom had been killed by now. All those people he'd cared about were rotting out there.

And then there was Fiyori, taking a seat without a second glance. She motioned for him to join her, but he didn’t respond.

“Aren’t you going to try and kill me?”

It was the same thing he’d asked Matt, and he’d been just as factual this time. He knew that Fiyori was like Matt, like Alvaro, like Nancy: that she’d killed Alice the day before. He didn’t know why she’d done it, but that was nothing new.

He felt the gun in his hand. He just had to do it in self-defence, that’s what Matt had said.
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Jae sat by the door, rifle resting across his lap. Occasionally, he thought that he could see figures moving through the rain, people that he ought to recognize. The roof was oddly sloped and peaked in places; it seemed like it might have been some kind of house before it was a hospital.

The shadows in the rain slid through his vision but didn't come any closer. Jae wondered if his body would shut down before any of them decided to approach.

He was certain now that he was dying. He had probably been dying for at least a day, maybe longer. At least since the fight with Jon, definitely since the disaster in the kitchen.

At this point, he really just wanted to hurry up and get it over with but not yet, not yet. Not until Fiyori was in front of him and he got to see the look on her face when he snatched the opportunity out of her hands.

Jae opened his eyes. He wasn't sure when he had closed them, or if he had nodded off.

There was a figure moving towards him through the rain, a shape that he only vaguely recognized. It wasn't Fiyori.

Jae didn't have anything to say to her as she drew near, watching her with silently questioning eyes.
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There was somebody waiting there when Candice returned to the door.

Approaching them was probably not the best idea. In fact, the entire point of going back the way she'd come was to figure out where the others were without being seen herself. But Candice had underestimated how much the weather would impede visibility, and by the time she had realized that there was somebody there, she was close enough that they had to have noticed her already.

Or maybe they hadn't. One reason Candice hadn't noticed this person at first was that they weren't standing like she was on the lookout for, but rather slumped near the door. They also didn't seem to be moving.

Had the number of remaining students dropped yet again?

Drawing closer, she saw that the boy was still alive. Well, he looked like he should be dead, but was slightly moving regardless. Candice also saw that he was armed, but since she was within a few yards of him now he'd had plenty of time to shoot her if that were his intent. Besides, pretty much everybody was probably armed at this point, Candice being no exception herself, with her gun held firmly in her right hand despite how much she wanted a second free hand to stabilize herself on this roof.

She couldn't take the chance of being attacked while not on guard. Being unprepared was what had gotten people killed.

This person, however, seemed to be in no condition to attack her. He wasn't in good enough condition to do anything, it seemed. She closed the distance between them to a few feet, wanting to make sure she would be heard over the rain.

"Hey... are you okay?"
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G31 - Candice Banks (adopted from Somersault) - The Rooftop
G35 - Bernadette Thomas (adopted from Imehal) (Deceased) - Northwest Cliffs

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There were a few seconds that passed. Fiyori thought of what she could say in response, and came up with a few variants. Her eyes mustered the horizon, and the waves on the sea.

“Aren’t you going to try and kill me?”

Is what she eventually settled on. Word for word, the same question Nate had asked. Her voice betrayed not a single ounce of ridicule of mockery in her intention, because in the end, there was none of that. It was a sincere question. It just happened to be exactly the same as Nate's,

"You haven't seen fit to kill anyone yet..."

She waited a moment. Waited for something to trigger. Waited for the loud flash and for everything to fall dark. Nothing of that sort happened.

"...and you don't seem to change your mind anytime soon either."

Fiyori turned her head around to Nate. She gestured at the place next to her again.
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It took him another moment, but finally he advanced. He didn’t let the gun go, and the thought of what he could’ve been doing instead was far from forgotten, but sitting next to Fiyori was a better alternative. Or at least it was an easier one.

He didn’t take his eyes off her as he sat down, both because of who she was, and because of what he would have to look at instead if he didn’t. He felt that lump in his throat again, reminding him that he didn’t know much of anything about from Fiyori, apart from her being as tall as he was short. She didn’t seem to want to fight, but how was Nate supposed to trust her?

He sat there for just a moment. If she really wasn’t trying to kill him, then what did that mean? She’d done it before, she could do it again. The only thing that might be stopping her, as far as Nate could think in that tense moment, was if she’d come to feel like Matt had.

“Do you still want to go home?”
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Jae supposed that he probably looked like an easy target as Candice drew nearer, though she still looked uncertain. She hadn't killed anyone, if he was remembering correctly and the last announcement hadn't been mostly a fever dream. He considered whether she might be trying to work herself up to kill him until she went and opened her mouth.

Ah.

Candice was a dumbass.

Good. The shock of encountering someone with anything approaching something like common sense at this point might have actually, literally killed him. He wasn't quite prepared to die like that, at any rate.

"Yeah," he rasped. "Yeah. 'M doin' fucking great." It took more effort than expected to raise his voice enough to be heard over the rain.

"Whataya want?"
"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 didn't seem to be in great condition even by the loosest definition, but there was really no point in protesting his reply. If it was crazy for him to be claiming to be fine, then it was dumb of Candice to have asked him the question in the first place. Besides, there were more important things to focus on, like the fact that she had just walked up to someone who might be trying to kill her.

She hadn't much considered the danger when she was just checking on somebody who looked to be somewhere between severely hurt and dead. It'd been one thing under those circumstances, but now that she knew that he was, for lack of a better term, fucking great...

When it came down to it, the odds of any random person who was still alive at this point being trustworthy were low, and as it turned out the odds hadn't come out in her favor. It was obvious now that she got a better look at him. Even from a distance, she probably should've known -- if it were one of the other two, Candice would've recognized them.

"You're... Min-jae, right?"
Let's show that private threads aren't necessary! I pledge not to start any private threads on island in V7. If I started a thread, you are welcome to join it.

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G35 - Bernadette Thomas (adopted from Imehal) (Deceased) - Northwest Cliffs

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