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Shit's Fucked; i don't give a good god damn, your uncle sam is a motherfucker (Open)
Topic Started: Nov 22 2017, 09:48 PM (252 Views)
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The girl walked along the beach. Her olive green duffle bag dragged behind her, creating divots in the sand. She’d been walking down the shoreline since she’d woken up, only pausing to shed her jacket and flannel, respectively going into her bag and around her waist. She only stopped when she came to the tall barbed wire fence, and the cliffside looming behind it. Scowling, the girl turned to the ocean, and the sun rising over the waters. Something moved in the distance - she presumed it was an army speedboat.

Frankie Matsui flipped them off.

What were they going to do about it?

F06, FRANKIE MATSUI: START

They hadn’t given them collars this time around, which meant they couldn’t blow her up for doing it. Sure, they always had snipers, but she doubted they’d kill her for a simple gesture. Either way, Frankie didn’t care if she lived or died at this point.

In a way, she was already dead.

She snorted and stamped her foot, kicking sand into the air. As childish as it was, letting her frustrations out physically was incredibly cathartic. Her feelings and doubts and anger had been bottled up her whole life, and that bottle had been knocked off its shelf and shattered into a million pieces the moment her name was called.

Frankie’s days were numbered, she knew that much. The question was, what was she going to do with it? Mope around and wait to die? Or go out like that boy from Wisconsin, cursing and shouting until his mouth was was forcefully shut?

The girl sighed, and looked down at the sand. She didn’t know.
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Hunkered down by the barbed wire fence a few dozen meters away, Charity lifted her axe and lined up a sight on Frankie's head.

"Hm."

She screwed one eye shut and tilted her head to the side.

"Mm..."

Charity sighed.

"Nah."

F02 CHARITY GARDNER: START

She lowered the axe and dug its blade into the sand next to her until it had enough support to stand on its own for a few seconds. After those few seconds, it sadly sank over to one side. Mood.

She observed her sad little axe for another minute or so before turning her attention back to Frankie. She snickered a bit at Frankie flipping the bird to their distinguished chaperons out on the boats and subsequent temper tantrum. Sense of humor was still intact, at least. Charity's, that was. Frankie never seemed much for humor on a good day, in her opinion, and this was pretty far on the opposite end of the spectrum.

She watched until Frankie seemed to work out all her pent-up aggression or something, and then Charity stood and stretched, groaning as her back popped.

"Hey," she called.
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Someone called out to her. Frankie turned slowly, the bag dangling at her side. Surprisingly, she hadn’t fallen into a survivalist mindset, the mere presence of another person triggering her fight or flight response. The other girl’s casual tone was definitely a contributing factor.

While she hadn’t recognized the voice, she knew that gaudy face anywhere. Charity Gardner was...nothing special. A little annoying, but otherwise, Frankie had no real feelings about her. Even in this situation, she was little cause for alarm or concern; she’d spied an axe half-buried in the sand, but she didn’t seem like she was going to use it.

Frankie stared at her for a moment, maybe a moment too long. She was a girl of few words, and even in this situation, she didn’t have anything to say to Charity. While she’d gladly mouth off someone like Erik or Charlie, she didn’t have any words for her.

But old social norms pushed her to say something, so Frankie decided to be polite.

“Hey.”
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"Hell of a thing, huh?" Charity had seen no weapon in Frankie's hands or on her person, leaving a big fat question mark floating over their encounter. Maybe that commie hat Frankie was wearing had been her assigned item, but maybe she had a grenade in her back pocket or something.

Of course the real question there was, which of them would turn out to have a better throwing arm? Frankie was a twig, but physical activity wasn't Charity's forte.

Instead of asking about Frankie's potential weapon, Charity shoved her hands into the front pocket of her sweatshirt and rocked on the balls of her feet. She wasn't the fastest, but at this distance, she thought that she stood a good chance of going for the axe if Frankie suddenly turned hostile.

"Got any plans?"

Not that it mattered much one way or the other. Or maybe it did; Charity was still deciding how many people were going to walk away from this beach.
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Frankie gave a non-committal shrug in response. For whatever reason (be it moodiness, emptiness, or some other form of grief their predicament bore), she just wasn’t in the mood to talk to the girl. She’d found herself falling into old habits, ignoring people until they got bored and left her alone. If Charity had wanted to kill her, that axe would be buried in her skull instead of the sand. The girl would wander off eventually.

God, she was parched. Frankie bent down and unzipped her bag, digging around for a water bottle. She hadn’t gotten an opportunity to fully search her pack yet, spending only a brief moment to shove her bulky jacket into it. As she felt around for plastic, her hand bumped up against something cold and metallic. Puzzled, Frankie fished it out, expecting it to be a flashlight.

Instead, her fingers had wrapped around the barrel of a gun.
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Not much of a conversationalist, alright. Lined up with what Charity knew of Frankie, but it still irked her a bit. Not enough to make anything of it, not yet, but a little civil conversation wasn't much to ask, right?

Before Charity could push forward with her forced pleasantries though, Frankie fished what looked like one hell of a new conversation piece out of her bag.

Well shit.

Charity couldn't see the whole thing, but the thing Frankie was holding was sure doing a pretty good impression of a gun.

No further words spoken, and Charity was already on the back foot. Just like that, it wasn't her choice anymore whether someone wouldn't be walking away from this encounter.

"Heh."

A short little laugh, little more than a nervous exhale with some inflection. Ever since the name of National Summit Academy had been called by that uniformed man on the screen, Charity had been refusing to let herself go into hysterics. She wasn't about to lose her handle on things over Frankie Matsui of all people. Just a little laugh was fine, show that she was still cool, they were cool. Nobody had to get hurt here, since it was now obvious that Charity probably wouldn't be the one doing the hurting.

"Looks like somebody got lucky." And she rocked on the balls of her feet a little more, twisted her hands in the sweatshirt pocket a little more, and thought about the axe laying in the sand next to her foot and how obvious it would be if she looked at it now.
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It was definitely an odd-looking gun. The handle was positioned closer to the middle of the barrel than the the end. Frankie turned it over in her hands, feeling its weight. Despite growing up in a country that loved guns, Frankie had never held one - mostly out of refusal on her part. She knew there was a change to get guns in the Program, but she just assumed that they would screw her over with a pot lid or something. Frankie looked up when Charity made a sound. It reminded her where she was, and what she was supposed to do.

“Yeah...” she started, rising to her feet. Her eyes shifted between Charity and the gun, and then she slowly lifted her arms up, palms up as if to stop the other girl. “I’m not going to shoot you.” While Frankie had no idea what she was going to do, she definitely wasn’t going to play into their hands - or shoot an innocent person, for that matter.

After a moment, remembering that her own mortality was at stake as well, she briefly pointed the barrel in Charity’s direction before lowering it. “So don’t fuck with me, alright?”
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Charity snorted and wasn't able to stop that from snowballing into true laughter - nervous laughter, yes, but still laughter. Still a good thing. She managed to contain it before it became full-blown cackling, and was left feeling surprisingly refreshed.

"Do I look like a dumbass? I'm not- shit, Rambo, or whatever. If I thought I had any chance snapping someone's neck with my bare hands or something, you wouldn't be the one I go for." Charity jerked her head in the direction of the water, where they had seen the boats in the distance.

She waited a minute, but no sniper bullet went through her head, so she guessed that her irreverent quips weren't treasonous enough for anyone to care, as per usual.

That left her with nothing, though. Not yet dead, not yet a killer. Charity wasn't sure what else there was for her here, unless Frankie decided to surprise her in a way that didn't involve filling her with hot lead.

Of course, she also now faced the problem of figuring out how to disengage.

"So now what?"

Social interaction sure was annoying when you couldn't just walk away dismissively without possibly catching a bullet.
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Charity stayed put. Frankie frowned, but then remembered what she would’ve done in her shoes, when faced with someone with a gun. She had hoped the other girl was the type to bolt at the second danger reared its ugly head, but maybe Charity had more common sense than she thought she had. Make no sudden movements and leave slowly.

However, Frankie wouldn’t have laughed creepily/ Charity wasn’t hostile, but her little fit sure as hell was unnerving. The gun fell casually to her side, and she could feel the cool metal through her jeans. She just looked at the other girl, one eyebrow furrowed, one arched, a soft frown forming.

When Charity asked what they should do, she decided to be a little more blunt.

“Well, you could leave.” Frankie said. She’d tried to have a slightly intimidating edge, but it came off as too forced, too exaggerated in the way that made it seem more lame than scary. Her mind scrambled for other things to say, just so she didn’t leave things off with a threat. “I mean, don’t you have friends to go find or something?”

Who were Charity’s friends? The more Frankie thought about it, the more she realized that she knew nothing about the other girl. She knew vaguely that she hung around delinquents. For some reason, Mina Mashall came to mind. Or that group of skater boys, though Frankie couldn't remember seeing a girl in their midst. Did Charity even skate?

She supposed that didn’t matter, and soon Frankie applied the same question to herself. She’d always been a quiet loner, but even she had to have somebody she liked in this situation. She paused for a moment to think, and only three names came up: Nanna-Fiora, Roz Evans, and Roz’s friend Clay. Part of her felt a pang of remorse that those were the only friends she had made during her four years at National Summit, but maybe it was for the better.

This way, less people she cared about were going to be slaughtered by the government.
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"I could," Charity agreed. "I will, if you put the gun down while I go."

Slowly and carefully, she squatted and picked up the axe, raising one hand just as Frankie had done to signify that she wasn't making any hostile moves. She stowed the axe in her sweatshirt pocket; it sat awkwardly, but hopefully it would be non-threatening enough for Frankie.

"I'm not looking for trouble," Charity added, reaching for her bag as well. She kept her eyes on Frankie, taking a firm grip on the bag's strap.

If Frankie decided that she didn't feel like letting Charity go after all, Charity probably have just one shot at getting the hell out of dodge.

Still, she was more annoyed than fearful. The tables had turned away from her favor so quickly.

She'd have to approach things more carefully next time.
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“Sure.” Frankie replied. She kept the gun trained on Charity, though. While neither wanted a fight, a healthy sense of suspicion never hurt anyone. In fact, it’d assure both of them made it out alive.

“How about this?” Frankie asked, raising the gun. “The further away you get, the more I lower my weapon. Deal?”
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"Fine by me," Charity said a little breathlessly. It wasn't, really. "Fine" wasn't the word she'd use to describe a gun pointing at her no matter what angle, but as long as the gun was in someone else's hands, she'd play by their rules.

She kept her grip firmly on the bag, ready to sling it in Frankie's face and run if Charity thought she saw her finger tighten on the trigger, but it didn't. She didn't turn her back fully to Frankie until she was a good distance away, but the barrel did lower as she went, as promised.

Maybe that was what she'd have done too, in Frankie's position.

Maybe not.

Once she was far enough away that she thought any shots taken at her would be reasonably likely to miss as long as she kept moving, Charity turned and jogged until Frankie was well out of sight.

((Charity Gardner continued in Take Nothing For Granted))
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After what felt like an eternity of watching the other girl back away, ready to pull up and fire if she even took one step closer, Charity left. Frankie exhaled, letting the gun drop to her side.

She took a moment to glance at her surroundings: the towering cliffside, the desolate beach, the endless expanse of blue, another speedboat zooming along the horizon. As she stood there, the ocean breeze hitting her face, it occurred to her that she could see for miles.

And people for miles could see her, too.

Charity’s appearance made little impact on her current situation. Frankie still didn’t know what she was going to do - for the rest of her life, she reminded herself. But she could think of that later, she assured herself, once she had the peace and quiet to do so. She didn’t need to be interrupted by another Charity, or worse, a player.

Frankie slung her bag over her shoulder and turned her back to the speedboat on the sea, and set off. She made sure not to inadvertently follow Charity, and headed in the opposite direction.

Perhaps she’d come up with something during her walk.

((Frankie Matsui continued elsewhere))
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