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Breaking Point
Topic Started: Apr 16 2012, 01:48 AM (777 Views)
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[ *  *  *  * ]
((Samuel Wilson continued from Far From Home))

It was late in the afternoon when Sam's weary feet led him to the ranch. Whether he knew it or not, he was retracing his steps, in a way. Backwards.

It had been so long ago. So long ago that he and Delilah had been wandering, not sure about what this mind game entailed, thinking that no one would actually go along with such a crazy command. Kill your classmates. No reward. And then they had found the railroad tracks, found the bridge. Richard had found them, and everything had changed.

Had it really just been a day ago?

They had missed the ranch then. Sam didn't miss the ranch now.

One hand on the solid wooden face of the ranchhouse, he paused. There were a lot of places Delilah could hide here. This house, the stables, even inside the grain silo, if there was a way in there. If she was even here in the first place.

He hoped she wasn't looking out at them right now, with Renee still behind him. She could panic, run away again. And then maybe he'd never find her.

"Think she might be inside?" he asked. Rhetorical question; she was or she wasn't. He didn't wait for an answer. "No offense, but I reckon... You should probably leave for now." He gave a tired smile, if only for Renee's benefit. The sides of his mouth felt grimy, as if his face was coated with dirt and dust. "I'll come find you, once I find out if she's here or not."
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Program V3 Prologue:
Sylvia Veneski -- F32 -- Clothes Hanger -- Alive -- Someday We Won't Remember This

Auld Lang Syne
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[ *  * ]
Renee was back at the ranch, a place that only held bad memories. That was funny, actually. "Bad memories" was how Vivian would've described the place, too. She saw the door that she kicked open and the barn that Brian had his talk with Vivian in. She remembered being a bit too naive to realize how dangerous he might get. Renee didn't want to think about that anymore, and she refocused her attention on Sam, who was currently telling her she should leave.

"And if you can't find me?" Renee asked. Her eyes closed in at Sam, wondering just how exactly he intended to justify asking her to leave at the moment that they'd both had been waiting for.

"I'm not leaving," Renee said. "We talked about this in town. You know how dangerous it might be if Delilah sees anyone. She could attack you or worse. Unless you want that to happen, I sincerely hope that you let me stay."

This was going to be hard once again, she realized. It was becoming increasingly obvious to Renee that Sam's quest for Delilah wasn't really about finding her and helping her. That might have been part of it, but it was secondary. It was really about Sam's need to do something morally right, something that mattered. There was absolutely nothing wrong with that, but Renee knew that sometimes a person could go too far and risk too much.

She knew a few cases where that had happened.

She sighed and faced Sam. "Listen, I don't want an arguement. I just want to make sure that you don't get hurt. If Delilah is in there, you might want to consider some insurance." Renee raised her MP5, which was feeling awfully heavy. "I'll stay outside of the house and wait for you. If I hear any sounds of struggling, I'm coming in."

Renee tried to make that sound stubborn. She didn't want Sam making her leave now, not after what they talked about in town. Not then, not now.
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Threads: Holding Out For A Hero > Inexplicable > Rebel Without a Clue > While Rome Burns > Far From Home > Breaking Point > Swan Song > Still Red > Last of the Alderbrooks

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Sam hesitated for a moment. He thought they had talked about this. Hadn't Renee said she'd try not to get involved when they found Delilah? He didn't want Renee or Delilah to get hurt. He didn't want Delilah to run away again.

He was starting to feel like Renee didn't trust him. Okay, maybe that wasn't completely true, or trust was the wrong word. What she said now made sense as well, but Sam was sure he could handle the situation if it was Delilah he was dealing with.

"I don't want an argument either, Renee," he said. "I didn't mean for you to leave completely, just- fine. Yeah. Just try to stay farther away from the windows, okay?"

Sam stood there for another moment, slowly drumming his fingers against the wooden face of the ranchhouse. Sturdy. It had substance. Not like the crumbling, decaying wooden crates in the mines. Not like the splintered wooden wreck of the saloon. This was good wood, good solid stuff.

He wondered how long it would stay that way.

As he started to head into the house, Sam turned back one last time. "Don't worry."
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Program V3 Prologue:
Sylvia Veneski -- F32 -- Clothes Hanger -- Alive -- Someday We Won't Remember This

Auld Lang Syne
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[ *  * ]
"Yeah. Sorry if I seemed a bit insistent, I just... I don't want you getting yourself killed, okay?" Renee rubbed her eyes. "I'll just.. stay right here." She sat down on the ground. It felt good, after all that walking. She just hoped there weren't any bugs.

"Yell if something happens," Renee said, inexplicably. She looked down at the ground, wondering just where that phrase had come from and why it sounded so familiar. Looking at the house, she suddenly remembered.

"Keep that safe for me, okay? I'll be right back. Yell if something happens and I'll be right back."

Brian. Back when he wasn't so bad, when Vivian was still there to make him slightly less insane. He was out there, killing. At this point, Renee wouldn't have hesistated calling him an evil son of a bitch. She understood perfectly his need to win and get back home, but he lacked so much in morals. How had she not seen this back at Alderbrook?

It's just like that, Renee. You didn't see; in fact, nobody saw. Part of you wonders how people can do this, yet another part understands completely. People are complicated, and sometimes someone you thought you knew could scare you to death. Brian did. And Vivian and Julia and Delilah. How long is it until I break? Have I, already?

She looked at the doorway that Sam had entered, the same one she'd kicked open to confront Brian and Vivian. Sam. Renee thought that she'd made up her mind about him. He was a good person, probably one of the best she'd known. But she didn't know him that well. And sometimes good people could go too far, too.

How far would he go for Delilah? To death?

Renee shook her head. These sorts of things made her head hurt. She pulled out a water bottle from her bag and started gulping it down. She needed a break from this.
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Threads: Holding Out For A Hero > Inexplicable > Rebel Without a Clue > While Rome Burns > Far From Home > Breaking Point > Swan Song > Still Red > Last of the Alderbrooks

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Sam's eyes adjusted quickly to the inside of the ranch house, enough to let him know that there was no one inside the room that he had just entered. That was okay, though. Better no one than someone he didn't expect.

It was quiet inside. Too quiet for Sam's tastes. Then again, he had wanted Renee to stay put outside. He very well couldn't chicken out now.

Nobody on the lower floor. His tennis shoes sounded softly as he ascended the stairs.

There were no lights on inside. That was rather appropriate, he thought, for the Sheriff's Western theme. The saloon, no electricity, pretending to be cowboys... the whole thing was a manufactured production for his own twisted ends. Trying to put them in the past, somewhere where they didn't belong. A mind game.

No. Sam had been over all that already. He was tired of it. Tired of a lot of things, frankly. All that mattered at the moment was finding Delilah, if she was here, and checking the other buildings if she wasn't.

Nobody on the upper floor, though one of the bedrooms looked like it had been recently disturbed. The sheets looked like they'd been thrown off in a hurry, the edges trailing dust on the floor. An abandoned pillow sat on the ground next to the bedpost. Sam took a look around the room, but it looked like whoever had done that had already left. No good hiding places, so far as he could tell.

Nevertheless, it was a clue, perhaps, to file away for later. He could feel that ever-present knot in his gut tightening. Maybe Delilah was closer than he had reason to suspect before.

Sam headed back downstairs, back to Renee. Best to keep her updated. Then, out the door, into the too-bright sunlight.

"Nobody in there," he said quietly, his eyes meeting Renee's. "No worries, really. I reckon I'll..." His eyes scanned the surroundings, picked a reasonable building. "I'll check the stables next. You doing alright out here?"
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Program V3 Prologue:
Sylvia Veneski -- F32 -- Clothes Hanger -- Alive -- Someday We Won't Remember This

Auld Lang Syne
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[ *  * ]
Renee gulped down the rest of the water bottle. She didn't know why she did that. There should've been a need to conserve food and water, but that didn't exist right then. Somehow, she knew that this whole thing was coming to a close very soon. Renee tossed the bottle away.

Sam was back. Walking out of the house, he said that Delilah wasn't there. He was going to check the stables to see if he could find Delilah. He asked her if she was alright.

"I'm good," Renee said, still sitting on the ground. Then she added, "Be careful, Sam."

Renee eyed her MP5. It looked a little worn, probably because Julia Wilson had already fired the thing. Julia seemed like such a long time ago. Yet, it was only yesterday. Renee shuddered slightly. People were dying too quickly in this place.

She needed to be on her guard. She stood up, dusted herself off, and gripped her MP5. Making sure that she and Sam lived; well, that was a worthwhile mission, right?
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Virtua SOTF - F05: Renee Murphy - GAME OVER - Tec-9, H&K MP5 - "Are you going to talk to me this time? "Well, now or never, right?"
Threads: Holding Out For A Hero > Inexplicable > Rebel Without a Clue > While Rome Burns > Far From Home > Breaking Point > Swan Song > Still Red > Last of the Alderbrooks

Virtua SOTF - M16: Patrick Reynolds - GAME OVER - 2x Molotov Cocktails - "Um, I think we're lost." "Is that odd? Handsome guy like me and he doesn't have a girlfriend?
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The sides of his mouth lifted up ever so slightly in something resembling a smile. What else could he do?

"Sure," he said. At the same time, he realized that his lips were dry and cracked from the heat. The almost absurd thought of how he looked popped into his head - bloodstains on his jacket, skin probably half-sunburned... He could use some water. But now wasn't the time. He still had to check out the other buildings.

Hefting his shotgun in his hands, Sam made his way to the stables.

It was probably the smell that hit him first. The lack of smell, that was. It felt wrong. Horses might have lived and died here, and they'd left no mark. Perhaps this stable had never been used. There was something else that he couldn't quite put his finger on. Something that made him uneasy. Sam cautiously hitched Delilah's bag higher up onto his shoulder, keeping the other hand on his shotgun. Maybe it was the piece of cloth he could see in the corner, behind a haystack. A blanket, perhaps. Maybe someone was there.

In the silence, his footsteps on the dirt floor of the stables sounded loudly in his head.

"Delilah?" As he got closer to the haystack, he could tell there was definitely someone under the blanket, just by the way it was slightly raised at the end. Sleeping? Had to be... Could it be her? Sam forced his voice louder. "Can you hear me?"

Nothing. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to wake her or whoever was under the blanket up quite yet. He'd just figure out who it was first, then decide what to do. Call for Renee, maybe, if it turned out to be someone else.

Ever so slowly, silently, he made his way around the haystack, until its rounded bulk was no longer in the way.

Looked down.

His heart stopped. It was Delilah, after all. Delilah, with a frozen look of fear on her face. Dead.

"G-goddammit." His voice didn't sound like his own. He'd dropped to his knees somehow, one hand fumbling on her neck as if to take a pulse. Her skin was cold, colder than it should have been. "Goddammit, Delilah, wake up, come on..." His voice was rising, Renee would probably hear, but he didn't care anymore.

Sam knew Delilah was gone, but he couldn't accept it anymore. Before she'd just been missing, running away from him; now he'd never catch up. He was completely helpless. That tightening knot in his gut, that stress he'd been trying to distract himself from, finally released. No. It snapped.

Sam Wilson had finally lost control.

"GODDAMMIT!"

And he was on the floor, on his knees, clutching his fist, knuckles reddening, the wooden wall of the stable no more changed by his useless anger than by anything else in its long life.
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Program V3 Prologue:
Sylvia Veneski -- F32 -- Clothes Hanger -- Alive -- Someday We Won't Remember This

Auld Lang Syne
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[ *  * ]
Sam's anger seemed to cover the ranch in a strange aura. His screams pierced through the whole place, startling Renee. She rushed over to the stables and saw him.

He was on his knees. Fists clenched in rage. A look of uncontrollable agony was on his face. Also on the floor was a body covered by a blanket. Delilah and dead.

Renee's heart had nearly stopped when he saw Sam. She had feared that Delilah would hurt Sam, physically. She feared that Delilah would kill him. She hadn't dared to think about what might happen to Sam if he saw her, lifeless and cold. She hadn't ever seen Sam like this before. She could never place a look of anger on that face of his, on the face of the good, nice boy from Alderbrook.

Looking at that dead body then, its lifeless eyes staring up, Renee remembered the old Delilah Rivers. The kindly little French-Canadian girl. Not the crazed murderer that Renee had imagined in her mind. Not the one that killed Richard and Patrick and Amanda. No, this one was a human being.

And she was dead, and she might be taking Sam with her.

Renee didn't know what to do. She felt her chest hurting. In a vain attempt to control the pain, she grasped her chest. Her eyes felt wet. She saw what this place could do to people. She didn't need to see any more. Controlling her tears this time, she slumped against the doorframe of the stables to keep her balance.

"Sam..." she managed to say.

What else was there to say? They had failed. Their whole mission was a bust from the beginning. Delilah was dead. No coming back from that. Now, she feared for Sam and what he might do. There must be something she could do, but for the life of her, she didn't know.
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Virtua SOTF - F05: Renee Murphy - GAME OVER - Tec-9, H&K MP5 - "Are you going to talk to me this time? "Well, now or never, right?"
Threads: Holding Out For A Hero > Inexplicable > Rebel Without a Clue > While Rome Burns > Far From Home > Breaking Point > Swan Song > Still Red > Last of the Alderbrooks

Virtua SOTF - M16: Patrick Reynolds - GAME OVER - 2x Molotov Cocktails - "Um, I think we're lost." "Is that odd? Handsome guy like me and he doesn't have a girlfriend?
Threads: The Funniest Joke in the World > I Can Hear the Bells > From Where You're Kneeling

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Renee had come.

Sam thought he could hear her crying. He couldn't even look her in the face as she said his name.

Delilah was dead, gone. He'd failed. Failed again, and again, and again. Richard, and Clair, and now Delilah. He hadn't even been able to deliver Clair's toque.

He didn't want to yell anymore. Didn't want to tear everything down, bring down temples, burn everything. Nothing seemed adequate. He just felt drained. The throbbing in his knuckles wasn't much of a distraction from the hard truth.

The shotgun in his hands was heavier than ever. It would be so easy, so easy to just put that shotgun in his mouth, pull the trigger.

His mind was blank as he stared at the gun, turning it over and over in his hands.

His hands clenched on the gun.

The gun made him a threat. That's why he'd gotten it. To protect himself. To protect Delilah, and whoever else he met. A surge of pointless anger, as he pondered how that had turned out.

One of his hands unclenched, drifted slightly off the gun, hesitated, finally alighted on Delilah's face. Closed her eyelids, at last, over those blue-grey eyes that he'd never see looking at him again. Her face still looked scared, but... maybe it didn't matter.

He wondered if he should carry Delilah's body. Bury it. Something. A drifting thought that didn't make any sense. Finally, he just covered her with her blanket.

Sam stood.

"Renee," he started. "We should-" His voice cracked in the middle of the sentence and he stopped. Shook his head, tears threatening to emerge.

On uncertain legs, he left.

((Samuel Wilson continued in Swan Song))
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Program V3 Prologue:
Sylvia Veneski -- F32 -- Clothes Hanger -- Alive -- Someday We Won't Remember This

Auld Lang Syne
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kervin555
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[ *  * ]
Sam looked like he wanted to cry. Renee could feel the agony radiating from him. She shouldn't just leave him like this. But she didn't know what to do.

He was leaving. There was nothing for them here.

Renee looked at Delilah's body, now covered entirely by the blanket. "I'm sorry," Renee suddenly said to no one. Maybe she was just trying to apologize to Delilah, for not being able to help her. Or maybe she was saying it to Sam, whom she didn't know how to help.

It was still hard to accept that she was dead. It was always hard. Renee mused briefly that she hadn't acted like this when Julia died. Maybe it was the adrenaline or the fear that kicked the rest of the emotions to the back of her mind. Same thing with Cameo, even though she didn't die.

She cried, still, after. Sam had helped her, then. Now, maybe she could help him.

Renee followed Sam. The best she could do was make sure he didn't hurt himself. She wiped her eyes on her sleeve. Something had to be done.

(Renee Murphy continued elsewhere...)
Mini Characters
Virtua SOTF - F05: Renee Murphy - GAME OVER - Tec-9, H&K MP5 - "Are you going to talk to me this time? "Well, now or never, right?"
Threads: Holding Out For A Hero > Inexplicable > Rebel Without a Clue > While Rome Burns > Far From Home > Breaking Point > Swan Song > Still Red > Last of the Alderbrooks

Virtua SOTF - M16: Patrick Reynolds - GAME OVER - 2x Molotov Cocktails - "Um, I think we're lost." "Is that odd? Handsome guy like me and he doesn't have a girlfriend?
Threads: The Funniest Joke in the World > I Can Hear the Bells > From Where You're Kneeling

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