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The Mourning After; Private
Topic Started: Jul 13 2011, 04:08 AM (822 Views)
outfoxd
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[ *  *  *  *  * ]
((Mason Ross continued from For Great Justice))

The blood staining

The rainforest gave way to a more traditional, cooler stretch of woods. Inviting, compared to

down his shirt on the ground and oh Jesus where's his head

what Mason had left behind.

A stitch was starting to stab into his ribs, taking his breath away. Mason slowed down, until he was stopped. He doubled over, supporting himself with a hand on

his head where is his fucking

a nearby tree (birch? Elm? Shit, he wasn't a botanist). He took deep, gulping breaths, tried to calm his heart rate, tried to put out the fire in his

HEAD


head.

The tears finally started, a late arrival to the party that was Mason's day, and he let them in. They were on the list. He told the bodyguard they were cool. Yes, the tears were ok.

"How can...how can they let us do this?" He said through the liquid salt sliding down his cheeks.

He didn't expect a girl's voice to answer.

"Why would they stop us?"
Edited by outfoxd, Jul 13 2011, 04:12 AM.
TV2: Jackson King
Current Thread: Killer Munchies
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MurderWeasel
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I can trick them into thinking anything
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Karen Ruiz continued from Chain of Sorrow))

Her throat felt hoarse, dry, cracked. It felt like she hadn't spoken in a long, long time. She was holding the Glock, one-handed now, not bothering to point it at him. That time had passed.

She had walked closer, gun out, reflexes primed, ready to eliminate another opponent. Instead, she'd stumbled on some kid. Crying.

She'd nearly shot him anyways. One more elimination. One step closer to home. Only thing was, that was fighting stupid. That was getting greedy. Greed wouldn't carry her, wouldn't sustain her until the end. It would just trip her up, leave her bleeding out in a ditch, riddled with bullets. There was a difference between strategy and psychosis, and Karen had filled her quota. She'd thought for a second, wondered if there was anything to do, decided there wasn't, and prepared to leave just as quickly and quietly as she had come, when the boy had spoken.

Speech was important to Karen. She was a quiet girl, always had been. She firmly believed that there was no point to speaking when you had nothing to say. Communication existed to convey information.

That, and talking was something she did. It was a part of normal, everyday life. It was so detached from this environment, so removed from this alien situation. She couldn't have talked to her opponents. It would have been strange. It would have made them feel more real, perhaps, like they were worth communicating with. Like they were more than just means to her end.

Of course, she knew they were. She knew they were real people, just like her. If she didn't talk to them, though, she could pretend.

But she'd spoken. She'd opened her mouth and croaked out a question to counter the boy's. She didn't know who he was. Someone from the other school, by his accent. She preferred it that way. It made this all easier. There was no baggage here. Just two strangers encountering each other in an awkward situation, probably neither really wanting to see the other right now. He was a big guy, tank top and jeans, short blond hair. Karen could tell a fellow athlete instantly.

She couldn't quite put her finger on what had stopped her from walking away.

"Because we're fucking humans?" he said. "Because we're not even into our lives yet? I'm supposed to be a basketball star. Maybe."

She considered this briefly.

"If that mattered to them," she said, "this show wouldn't exist."
Current characters:

The Program: V3 Prologue:
Mina Mashall - Digital Voice Recorder - Making a good impression - "I didn't know you felt so strongly about me."
Erik Bell - Jericho .941 - Having lunch - "May I?"

SECOND CHANCES: V2:
Assorted flora and fauna

SOTF-TV V2:
EW4: Jewel Evans - Chatterbox Communicator Headsets (0/5) - Online - ELIMINATED - "Scars are just reminders to be better next time."

Past characters:

If you want an honest assessment of your character's storyline, feel free to PM me and I'll whip one up as soon as I am able.

Thanks to Bear/Frogue/Kotorikun/Ryuki for the avatar art.
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outfoxd
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[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Mason looked at the girl, really seeing her for the first time. She was small, brown-skinned. Living in Texas he'd seen enough Mexicans to peg her as one.

The girl had a guarded look about her. She had on a big coat that she seemed to shrink into it. When he tried to get a little closer to her, she made subtle movements in the other direction. It made him feel uncomfortable. But he kept talking to her. He needed to talk to somebody.

"I...I know a lot of people watch this. But Jesus. It can't have been unanimous. People have to realize deep down this isn't right."

He brought his forearm up to his head, drew it across his cheeks to take the tears off. With that done, he extended his hand out to the girl. Probably not the best idea considering she had a handgun of her own.

"Mason. You must be from Detroit, right?"

"Yes." The girl said. And that was all.

He felt awkward leaving his hand out. He felt even more awkward that just moments before, he had seen Kevin, a fucking friend, with his

HEAD

head missing from his body.


He looked at her arm as he waited for a handshake. There were a bunch of bandannas of differing colors tied to her bicep. He wasn't quite sure what it meant, but it made him feel uneasy.
Edited by outfoxd, Jul 14 2011, 04:44 AM.
TV2: Jackson King
Current Thread: Killer Munchies
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MurderWeasel
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I can trick them into thinking anything
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Karen did not shake Mason's hand. No way. That would mean closing in, giving him a significant physical advantage, placing herself in a bind. He couldn't begrudge her her caution. Etiquette had never been her strong suit, and it was dead here anyways. She was fairly confident that he was just a scared boy. That did not mean that her guard was down. It did not mean she was about to become his buddy, or assume he wasn't capable of hurting her if things went wrong. She knew what scared kids could do.

She watched his eyes trace over her, watched him asses her. It was strange. She had been given this sort of examination many times in her life. For once, someone found something new, something worth noting. Five bandannas: purple, pink, thirteen, red, orange. She was pretty sure there were no visible bloodstains. It didn't matter if there were.

And she gave Mason a better look over too, assessing him in turn. He'd been crying. Why? Important to know. Maybe he'd been crying for someone close to him who'd been killed. That would not be so bad. Karen had only eliminated students from her own school, so he couldn't want revenge. There was something else, though, something that had caught her attention when he wiped his tears away and only now registered fully. A little smear of something on his face. Red-brown. Karen knew that color. It raised more questions, ones that needed answers quickly. She might have misjudged things. Perhaps this was an opponent after all.

So she ignored his hand, and she said, "Whose blood?"

The boy raised his hand to his cheek, touched the smudge, smearing it.

"Kevin Fielding. A... friend of mine."
Current characters:

The Program: V3 Prologue:
Mina Mashall - Digital Voice Recorder - Making a good impression - "I didn't know you felt so strongly about me."
Erik Bell - Jericho .941 - Having lunch - "May I?"

SECOND CHANCES: V2:
Assorted flora and fauna

SOTF-TV V2:
EW4: Jewel Evans - Chatterbox Communicator Headsets (0/5) - Online - ELIMINATED - "Scars are just reminders to be better next time."

Past characters:

If you want an honest assessment of your character's storyline, feel free to PM me and I'll whip one up as soon as I am able.

Thanks to Bear/Frogue/Kotorikun/Ryuki for the avatar art.
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outfoxd
Contender
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
The girl wasn't going to take his hand, so Mason let it fall limp to his side.

"His uh...his head just...fucking exploded."

As they were trapped in a game where a bunch of kids were killing each other, it seemed like a lame explanation. He kept going, trying to justify what he saw.

"I don't know. Maybe somebody shot him with a sniper rifle or something. Maybe he just had a splitting headache."

The joke was more an impulse, an act of mental muscle memory, than anything of true mirth. Besides, the girl didn't seem like much of the laughing type.

Mason dropped down, decided he really needed to sit.

"He was gonna lead us out, you know. Get us away from all this."

Mason propped his forehead up with his hand, massaging his temple.

"I don't know what's gonna happen now. Kev was my team captain. I believed what he was telling me. It made sense. Right now...everything else doesn't."

The girl didn't sit, just stood, looking down at him.

"The teams are fake."
TV2: Jackson King
Current Thread: Killer Munchies
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MurderWeasel
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I can trick them into thinking anything
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Karen hadn't voiced her theory before. She didn't actually realize that until she'd already said it. All of a sudden, the viewers back home knew exactly why she'd opened fire on her allies. She didn't know how she felt about that. A little irritated, perhaps. It didn't really matter, of course. She didn't care if she was popular or reviled. She didn't care if people thought she was a tragic hero or a mindless psychopath. Her goal was survival. That was at the heart of everything she'd done until this encounter. She would have preferred to be gunning down the show's producers, killing those who truly deserved to die. That wasn't an option. No reason to think it over too deeply. It wasn't like she'd try anything if she ever met them. She wanted to live, not get shot down as a futile gesture of disgust.

It didn't look like the boy quite understood what Karen had said. She was surprised. It seemed very few people were bothering to actually analyze their circumstances. Small wonder so many of them were dropping. It was too bad for this guy that he had lost a friend. That probably hurt if you weren't prepared for it. It probably really stung if you hadn't already tried to murder what passed for your friends.

Karen had tried to shoot Alicia. She'd known exactly who the girl was at the time. She'd just talked herself into believing that she'd forgotten. Karen was pretty bad with names. It was plausible. It made the whole thing easier. She remembered the girl, though, remembered the positive impressions, the conversation over lunch, her own awkward exit. She still liked Alicia. It was too bad they had met so early, when Karen was still trying to get her credibility established. Maybe things could have gone differently otherwise.

If she met Alicia again, she would have to eliminate her, of course. The girl was armed, could identify Karen, and might have seen her during the earlier shooting. Too bad. Hopefully they would never encounter each other.

None of that bore much relevancy to the teams.

"If more than one person from a team survive, they'll have to fight," Karen clarified. "Make sense?"

The boy looked up at her, incredulous. "I figured whoever's left on one team gets the leave. Otherwise what's the fucking point of having teams?"

She didn't say anything, just waited for a moment. He seemed smart enough. He'd probably figure it out. Once you started thinking, it didn't really take that much to reach her conclusion.
Current characters:

The Program: V3 Prologue:
Mina Mashall - Digital Voice Recorder - Making a good impression - "I didn't know you felt so strongly about me."
Erik Bell - Jericho .941 - Having lunch - "May I?"

SECOND CHANCES: V2:
Assorted flora and fauna

SOTF-TV V2:
EW4: Jewel Evans - Chatterbox Communicator Headsets (0/5) - Online - ELIMINATED - "Scars are just reminders to be better next time."

Past characters:

If you want an honest assessment of your character's storyline, feel free to PM me and I'll whip one up as soon as I am able.

Thanks to Bear/Frogue/Kotorikun/Ryuki for the avatar art.
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outfoxd
Contender
[ *  *  *  *  * ]

Mason looked back down at the ground, started rocking, shaking his head. This was all...come on, this was bullshit. They couldn't just....could they?

"I'm gonna..gonna find who's left on my team. And we're gonna get out of here. Lay low till everyone else finishes the game. It'll be...it'll be ok. I'll get home, I'll get to apologize to Kevin's family. They, they deserve it, and..."

Mason stopped in the middle of his minor freakout. Somewhere in his head two and two had clicked together. On the announcements, there'd been quite a few mentions of somebody already taking kids out. A girl. With a hispanic sounding name. And he realized that the girl hadn't told him who she was yet.

Not that she needed to. The bandanas and the sunny disposition told him enough.

"Karen Ruiz, right?"

He toyed with the idea of snapping the Beretta up and pumping a round into the girl. But he didn't. He couldn't.

"How long it take you to be able to do it?" He didn't think the "it" needed explanation.

She took a moment to respond.

"Half an hour. Half a day to succeed."

Mason shook his head, his tongue working on the inside of his cheek.

"So why am I still alive, chica?"
TV2: Jackson King
Current Thread: Killer Munchies
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MurderWeasel
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I can trick them into thinking anything
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
It didn't take Mason too long to figure out who she was. Good: confirmation that the bandannas were worthwhile. She answered his question bluntly. No need to share that it made her think. No need to disclose that it was somewhat hard to answer. Half an hour was a close enough approximation. What else could she say? That she'd never not been prepared?

She hadn't hesitated, not after those first few moments. It wasn't that she thought what she was doing was good, no, certainly not. She was a monster to the world, a villain, a heartless murderer. She hid behind her pretty words, her "opponents" and "eliminates", but at the end she was killing. She was killing her classmates, scared teenagers like herself. It was always there, lurking in her mind. Karen was not insane. She was not deluded. She held no pretensions of morality. They were here to die. She did not want to die. The only way off was to be the final survivor. The only way to get anywhere close to that goal for someone like her was to make an early name for herself. She made no apologies for what she had done. To do so would be to accept that she had done something wrong, and to do that would be to suggest that she was considering changing her ways. She hadn't and she wasn't. She'd done what she had to for survival. That was how life was, in this program and out of it. It was what people had done every day since the dawn of humankind.

Karen wanted to survive. She was willing to do what it took. That put her in the minority. More than that, she had the means to follow through. This segregated her into an even smaller portion of the population. Beyond even that, she was intelligent enough to stand an actual chance. She was ahead of the game in every way. Maybe half a dozen other people would find themselves in that category. The rest would be somehow deficient. If they survived, it would be by luck. They were the Vincents, the Alicias. The Masons.

He asked why he was still alive.

"Eliminating you wouldn't benefit me," she said.

It was half true. Another elimination would bring her a step closer to ten. That was supposed to be her ticket out, her trip to freedom. She'd managed four. She'd been in danger for three of them, though. She'd been shot at, beaten. This boy had a gun. He was currently no threat. If she shot him, if he was dying, he would have nothing to lose. He would be able to seek revenge with no repercussions. She would have to eliminate him instantly, in a single shot, and her aim was not that good. She didn't want to be in another shootout. Not when ten was an unfeasible goal, a piece of bait designed to lure them to their deaths.

He didn't need to know any of that, of course. Let him come up with his own reasons for her inaction.

The boy seemed shaken and aggravated by her answer at the same time. The gun in his hand quivered, but stayed pointed at the ground, along with his eyes.

"Just... get the fuck away from me. Go find somebody to kill that does 'benefit' you."

He stroked the barrel of the gun with his free hand.

"Hope you win, Ruiz. Hope you make it home so you get to live with this for the rest of your life."

And that was that. Waste of breath. Failure of interaction. More of the same. She was loosely relieved that she could still talk to someone without killing them. It reassured her that she was still human.

She didn't bother to reply, just took a couple of steps backwards. She wasn't turning her back. He was dangerous, now. The situation had changed. He was no threat in the long run, but for the next few minutes, she was pretty sure he might do something stupid.

He was lying. Of course he was. He didn't want her to win. She was his monster, now, his shadowy foe. She was the personification of all he hated. She'd killed his friend. She'd be the face behind the gun whenever anyone he knew fell, whether she truly had a hand in it or not.

More than that, he assumed. He made assumptions about her.

There was no home, not for Karen, not anymore. She'd known that since the start. She was on a path of destruction. She'd thrown away all claim to her family and friends when she fired her first bullet. She had no illusions. She would survive this, and she would have to cash in. She would have to use this horrible fame to sustain herself—for a time, at least. She would have to embrace her image. Her family would never speak to her again. It was a steep price to pay. She could have died, of course. She could have let herself be killed, could have spared her family the pain of having raised a killer, replaced it with the pain of having raised a corpse.

She wasn't that selfless, though. She was afraid of dying. At the end of the day, she was the most important. Anyone who lived would feel that way.

So she backed away. Step by step. Avoiding danger. Never turning, never looking away.
Current characters:

The Program: V3 Prologue:
Mina Mashall - Digital Voice Recorder - Making a good impression - "I didn't know you felt so strongly about me."
Erik Bell - Jericho .941 - Having lunch - "May I?"

SECOND CHANCES: V2:
Assorted flora and fauna

SOTF-TV V2:
EW4: Jewel Evans - Chatterbox Communicator Headsets (0/5) - Online - ELIMINATED - "Scars are just reminders to be better next time."

Past characters:

If you want an honest assessment of your character's storyline, feel free to PM me and I'll whip one up as soon as I am able.

Thanks to Bear/Frogue/Kotorikun/Ryuki for the avatar art.
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outfoxd
Contender
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Mason watched as the girl made her way out of the area, keeping her eyes on him as she backstepped toward the edge of the forest.

He watched, he glared, he glowered, as she made her escape. And the urges of wanting to kill her kept flashing in. The Beretta wanted its first taste of blood, and he could barely stay his hand.

He stood up when she was almost out of the area, and called out to her.

"Hey, Ruiz!"

She stopped, for half a second. He ran his thumb across his nose and snorted, clearing away some mucous that had collected from his earlier crying session.

"I'll see you around."

And then she was gone. Mason made himself scarce minutes later.

((Mason Ross continued in Finding Purpose. Karen Ruiz continued in Rest When You Can.))
TV2: Jackson King
Current Thread: Killer Munchies
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