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Dagon; Open
Topic Started: Aug 11 2017, 12:25 AM (1,532 Views)
Zetsumodernista
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GO, GO! FORCEFULLY MY YEAH!!!
[ *  * ]
Well, that was a relief. Except now Irene actually had to pick up the fingers. Was she squeamish? Nah--okay, maybe a little. Irene could smash and pick up and throw away cockroaches no problem, but you kinda figure that this was a couple tiers higher. There was a reason they wanted to get the fingers out of sight, after all.

Irene closed her eyes as she reached for the fingers with her bandaged left hand--didn't want to make skin contact with the fingers, after all-- and felt around, missed, felt around again, felt her fingers brush against her--the--fingers, shrieked, sent the fingers flying. Tried again, looking this time, still using her bandaged left hand to pick them up. That was a dumb mistake. Picking up your fingers with the hand the fingers had once been attached to sends your mind into weird places, gets you started thinking about how you're throwing away a part of yourself and how maybe Irene should've had a bit more sentimental attachment to the two little meat sticks. For fuck's sake, they're not gonna give you AIDS, Irene. You can touch them. It's not like you had a problem with them back when they were still attached to your hand.

Er. Fuck. Shut up, brain. Shut. The fuck. Up.

Just don't look at it. Easy. Pretend it's a cockroach--Irene usually tried not to look at the cockroach when she was throwing it away, anyways, so--see? She could almost believe it now. Cuz she was trying to convince herself that it wasn't a cockroach-- just a bit of trash she'd found on the floor. Not that she could convince herself that she was just throwing out a piece of trash, mind. That's why you don't look.

In through the nose, out through the mouth. She was almost at the bottom of the stairs now. See? That wasn't so bad. Five steps. Four. Three. Easy there. Irene held her breath as she opened the door, flung the fingers out as far as she could, saw them land, decided that that wouldn't do, ran to the fingers, and kicked them--frantically, almost viciously, until they were hidden in some bushes. It'd be some time before she'd feel comfortable looking at those bushes.

Exhale. Irene clomped back up the stairs, trying to get the thump thump thump of the blood pulsing through her ears to slow down. In. Out. Both through the mouth. Not that that fact was relevant or deliberate. Irene was a little too distracted to realize that she should've focused on some specific placebo breathing technique. Not until she'd already gotten back to where Eris and Alice were still hanging around, their eyes expectant.

"Um."

What was Irene planning? Nothing. Planning meant long term meant thinking about getting off the island meant strategizing meant--nope. We'll cross that bridge, figure out that answer if we ever get to it. For now, Irene wasn't planning anything. Definitely not.

"That depends. How long ago was it that KK left?"

And also:

"How good do you think you are at tracking?"
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delayedMirth
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Alice looked at Eris. Shrugged. She'd hoped that it would've been self evident. "I was planning on sticking around, I guess? I trust you." Trusted her to be rational enough to be able to recognize that having someone around (even a moderately crippled someone) to watch her back was a good idea, and to recognize that Alice didn't have anything to gain from betraying her. Yet. Emphasis on the yet being a long time coming, if it came; not being inevitable.

She trusted Eris as a friend, too; but that line of thought wasn't what kept you alive. It just let you feel happier and fuzzier about it. Not worthless, but not a priority.

Irene spoke. Alice stared at her. Tilted her head. "Oh. You're gonna die. Your fault this time, too. Can I have your stuff?" Maybe the bluntness would get her to realize how goddamn stupid she was being. Maybe she would give Alice her stuff. Either way, a win.
we have built cities and dug graveyards on oh so many worlds
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Eris wouldn't quite have phrased it like that, but Alice was absolutely right. Irene had always been the act first, questions later type, and while the transition to shoot first, questions later might have seemed the logical next step, it was anything but smart or strategic.

So yes, very logical from an Irene standpoint. Eris sighed and nearly moved to pinch the bridge of her nose before she spotted the blood on her hands and thought better of it.

"I haven't been keeping track of time, and I have no practical knowledge of tracking." She turned away from Alice and Irene to root though the first-aid kit again and locate the sanitary wipes so that she could clean her hands.

"Even if I did have any skill in that, I wouldn't help you track down Katarina. You're injured, you have no idea how to use a gun, much less that," Eris indicated the speargun still sitting on the steps, "and that's not going to be much help against an assault rifle. You'll just end up making things worse for yourself if you go after her."

Not that she was going to stop Irene from running off, if her one-track mind was so set on it. She would have preferred to keep the harpoon gun as a deterrent, should anyone else with designs on causing trouble show up, but it was probably less of a headache to let Irene go and just barricade the top of the stairs if need be.

Speaking of headaches. Eris dropped the used sanitary wipes on the ground once she had cleaned her hands and reached for the ibuprofen.
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Zetsumodernista
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[ *  * ]
Well. That was rude.

"I know."

Yeah. She knew. But can you know what isn't true? Not if knowledge ain't no justified true belief, nope, and Irene was pretty sure she'd gotten the right number of negations in there to mean what she meant to mean, which is a funny thing to think about, it's like it's almost like, almost like

Irene isn't allowed to know that. And she isn't allowed to think about what she's not allowed to know. That's what she knows.

She knew.

Well. So this is how it all breaks down.

You are going to die, Irene. That is practically a fact. And there is nothing you can do about it.

So why bother dying, then? She was gonna die anyways. Might as well not die, in that case. Might as well live forever, ride off into the sunset, no, fuck you, she was gonna ride off into the sunset. For real. Real. There's your justified true belief. Damn the consequences. Damn dying.

Makes sense? No? Good. Let's keep it that way. Let's not let Irene find out.

She's already found out, but she's okay. It was bound to happen. She's talking to herself, after all. The absolute fucking lunatic.

"I'm okay with that."

Because you know what? KK needs a ride off into the sunset, too. So does everyone else here, really. All you really had to do was close your eyes, hop aboard, and feel the sun on your neck and the wind at your back. Wouldn't you take the choice, if you had the choice?

Then she slipped on a puddle of blood.

"I'm okay, dammit."
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delayedMirth
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Down Irene went. Alice was grateful that the blow to the head hadn't knocked her out - unlikely but possible; and it would have raised tricky questions about how dedicated they were to making sure Irene didn't die right in front of them out of her own ineptitude.

Alice's dedication to making sure that Irene didn't die elsewhere out of her own ineptitude was already bottoming out - she wasn't a fucking suicide hotline - but she had still saved their lives. Incidental to any of her efforts, of course; but it had been her harpoon gun that chased Katarina off, and that was enough that Alice would probably feel vaguely guilty if the girl died like a complete idiot.

Not that she had any reservations about her leaving. It was preferable, in fact. The more people you added to a group, the more points of failure it had, and it's not like Irene could contribute much. Even discounting pragmatic concerns, once everything started breaking down, Alice knew she wouldn't hesitate to prioritize her own life and abandon her. She'd feel bad about it, but she'd do it in a heartbeat; and she likewise wouldn't expect much loyalty from a girl she didn't give much of a shit about.

Eris was a different case, of course.

Enough hypotheticals. Irene obviously wouldn't listen to reason, and Alice had one more plan to try before declaring her a lost cause. She followed the fallen girl down the stairs, careful to avoid slipping on the blood. She grabbed the harpoon gun with her good hand before Irene could recover. It was unexpectedly heavy, and the weight almost made her lose her balance, but Alice managed to stay upright. She retreated back to the top of the staircase, propped the barrel of the gun on her shoulder. Didn't have her hand anywhere the trigger, because she wasn't an idiot.

'Way I see it, we need this more than you do. We wanna stay alive. You don't. Want it back? Convince me you're not gonna just run off, die, and let your murderer have it. You know, instead of the people who gave enough of a shit to patch you up."
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Irene protested, fell on her face, continued protesting. Alice made perfectly rational, if blunt, points which would almost certainly get ignored in favor of righteous anger.

Eris remained sitting and rubbed her temples while waiting for the painkillers to take hold and fend off her headache.

They were bargaining for Irene's life and her weapon like some kind of demented playground game. Or a logic puzzle. Irene wants to leave the lighthouse, but Eris and Alice want to stay. Eris and Alice want Irene's gun, but Irene wants to hunt down another girl with a much better gun and much itchier trigger finger. How do we solve this problem?

Eris looked from Irene, to Alice, to the mess on the stairs.

She stood. "I don't care what you two work out. I'm going to find a mop or... some towels or something. To clean up this mess."

And she walked away, rounding the stairs so that Irene and Alice were out of sight and hopefully out of mind for a few minutes while she searched for anything that could be used as cleaning supplies.
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Zetsumodernista
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[ *  * ]
Irene barely noticed when Eris slipped out to do her thing.

"Oh...I didn't mean to...sorry..."

Oh fuck no oh fucking god no please don't, Alice. Just--please--don't. Irene's already given up on her hopes and dreams. Don't tell her she has to give up on chasing her hopes and dreams too.

But she was going to have to, if she cared at all about what happened to Alice and Eris.

And if she tried not to care, what would happen when they died? How was Irene supposed to live with herself then? How could she ride off into the sunset--nope, that's a sociopathic thought, cut it out, cut it out, CUT IT OUT--

Irene balled her fists. One and a half fists. It wasn't fair. It wasn't fair that she wasn't allowed even to delude herself into dying happy.

"But--don't you see? I have to try. If I don't try I'll, um. I don't have a deathwish, not exactly, but if I don't try I'll--I can't exist like this, just let me go and--ok, look. I'm gonna die anyways, and if I'm gonna die anyways can't you let me die the way I want to? The harpoon thingy isn't necessary, I guess, but it'd help, god, fuck, I don't want you to die, y'know? but I can't--I just--just let me--"

Pause for breath.

"Can't I--can't I just--can't you see that I have no choice, here? I have to try."
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delayedMirth
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Alice hadn't meant to make Irene beg, found no enjoyment in hearing her increasingly desperate, incoherent pleas. She hadn't asked the girl for a reaffirmation of how much she wanted to stupidly throw her life away, though. She'd asked for reassurance that she had thought it through, that her death was a possible risk but not the expected outcome.

Irene had said that she didn't have a choice, but what she meant was that she didn't want to think about the countless alternatives. That as long as she had her unwieldy gun - that she might not even be able to fire - she could die happy while KK's bullets tore her to shreds, die telling herself that that's just the way things had to be. That she had done her best.

It was delusional. Irrational. But still, Alice was finding it difficult to dispassionately stand there with Irene's hope in her hands and tell the girl to her face that she simply didn't deserve the weapon. That no, her feelings really didn't matter, compared to Alice's survival. It was a cold thing to say. Heartless.

Eris had left the matter to her, though. She pretended that she didn't care, but Alice knew that couldn't be true; when the outcome of the confrontation would decide whether they'd be left helpless at the top of the lighthouse against any intruder with a half-decent weapon. It wasn't just her life on the line - she had to prove that she could do more for their partnership than just function as a shot-up meatshield.

Maybe it'd be better for Irene, too. Maybe stealing her easy way out would force her to use the brain she almost certainly had, come up with a solution to KK without getting herself killed in the process. Maybe this was actually saving her life, in an incredibly roundabout way.

Maybe Alice was just rationalizing her first-ever theft, but at least she was doing the rationalizing with the gun on her side.

She shook her head. "That isn't good enough. Sorry," she said, tightening her grip on the harpoon gun's stock.
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The situation was not getting resolved. Eris could tell even from the snatches of conversation she heard as she located a supply closet and rummaged through it, nose wrinkling at the smell of rags and chemicals left to mildew. There was a mop, at least.

Irene argued that she was doomed to die no matter what, as though she was the only one, as though it made a difference. Of course Irene was going to die. She'd had half her hand blown off and her face smashed in within the first few second of her arrival, and she thought, or at least was trying to convince herself, that she stood half a chance at hunting someone down in a half-baked plot for revenge.

The choice they were making here wasn't whether Irene lived or died, it was how. Eris's personal stake in that was also rather low, but frankly, she would be... oh, irritated if they just let Irene run off and throw herself directly into Katarina's bullets once again.

She seized the mop and examined the end to make sure that it looked like it might actually soak up some of the mess on the stairs. It looked suitable enough, and she set it aside to sort through the few buckets in the closet until she found one that wasn't rusted through. No water in the building, so far as she could tell, but it might be possible to collect some outside. Otherwise, they would have to make do.

Eris dithered out of sight and almost out of hearing for as long as she could make excuses to herself, and then sighed and returned to the bottom of the stairs once it became clear that no progress was being made.

"Irene, sit down." She spoke briskly as she returned. "Not on the stairs, I'm going to clean those. But sit down, have some water, and at least think before you make any decisions." Thinking before she spoke and acted was very likely a foreign concept to Irene, but it was never to late to start working on some self-improvement.

She waited for her words to be obeyed before she was satisfied enough to turn her attention to the spattering of vomit and blood that led up the steps, trying to judge if it could be cleaned without water.
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Zetsumodernista
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[ *  * ]
Irene hissed. She wasn't a child, godddammit.

But she did as she was told, because she wasn't a petulant child. She walked to the top of the stairs--she didn't even stomp, isn't she mature?--sat down. Small sips.

So that was their narrative, huh? Irene the child. Irene who doesn't think. Irene who can't put two and two together on what they think of her because she was too busy staring at how neat and pretty those numbers looked to realize that the numbers were code for 'hey, Irene's a fucking dumbass'. Not that Irene could be irritable with them, exactly. They'd helped to save her life, after all. It made sense that they didn't want their work to go to waste. But couldn't they see that Irene was wasting away, here?

"I did think. As much as I can. I'd lay out my thought process for you if I could, but, like. Um. If I did I'd have to think more about it, and thinking more about my plan would mess up my plan, which means thinking about it would be illogical, see? And, like, the plan is irrational and stupid, from a logical perspective, but...I kind of don't care about logic at this point? Being logical would just screw me over at this point? So it's logical to be illogical, since that works better for me. If you get what I mean."

Irene sighed. To hell with it.

"It's fine. The plan's flexible. I'll be a good girl, don't you worry."

It's not like she needed KK right then and there in order to do the thing. She could do the thing with Alice and Eris, too. Sure, it was a bit more strategic, but it wasn't like Irene was suicidal. She even wanted to live.

Oh, stop rationalizing already, girl.

Irene folded her legs, yawned showily. Stretched. Looked over the side of the railings.

"Man, spiral staircases look cool from up top, don't they? Have you ever tried riding on the rails down? Not this one, obviously. Like, spiral staircases in general."
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Irene complied, and so Eris didn't have to devote any more brain power to dealing with her until she got the stairs cleaned up. Good.

It took longer than anticipated, and admittedly the results were neither pretty nor pleasant-smelling, but she eventually cleared enough of a walkway with the mop that she could consider the job accomplished. Irene was still sulking, Alice looked none-too-pleased as well, and Eris couldn't very well claim that she was much better off, but they were all alive and they had semi-clean stairs.

It was a start.

((Eris Marquis and Alice Gilman continued in Erewhon))
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Zetsumodernista
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Irene watched as Eris cleaned the stairs off, wasting away what limited time she had. Irene was. Not Eris. For all she knew, cleaning the stairs might've been really important to Eris. She was a smart person. She could be trusted to know her own priorities.

Irene wasn't about to rain on her parade. Not exactly a worthwhile pursuit, but better than anything else available to her at the moment.

She could wait a little. Stop and smell the roses, or sit back and relax. Stopping to smell the roses wasn't really an apt figure of speech, what with the reek of copper and salt stinking the air.

((Irene Djezari continued in Erewhon))
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