((All GMing approved by Inky and Roy))
And that's when everything got chaotic once more.
Jacqueline tried to stand up and run after her, only to fall like a newborn lamb taking its first steps on solid ice. Katie heard her screaming as she attempted to run. Who couldn't hear that? Thing was, though... she was screaming that Sycanus did something to someone.
Benny ran past her, which meant that he was the one going after Sycanus. Heart racing, Katie saw Jacqueline fall to the ground, unable to run very far. Katie jogged back over where Jacqueline had fallen, and heard the words that changed everything.
"You're the reason... he's... not... my Simon..."
It was quiet, but there it was. As Katie stopped near Jacqueline, she paused. "Her" Simon. Simon. She had the feeling she wasn't talking about Leroy.
Noticing the first aid kit still in her hand along with the bloodied gauze, she pulled out a few more supplies. Jacqueline, Jacqueline knew something. And that's when Katie had to say it.
"... I want you to tell me everything."
Jacqueline murmured in response "When you say... everything..."
Katie briefly fidgeted. Here she was, talking to a severely injured girl, who knew something about the person she was chasing after most likely. As her hands continued applying pressure to the still-somewhat bleeding wounds, she couldn't help but think a bit more until Jacqueline spoke up again.
"I met him when I woke up."
"Who?" Katie asked, but she had the feeling she knew who she was referring to.
Yes, exactly who she was referring to.
"He didn't try to hurt you, did he?!" Katie found her voice raising slightly.
Jacqueline paused, as if something was on her mind. And when she spoke again...
"...He didn't. He wasn't hurting anyone."
What? How was what he was doing not "hurting anyone"? That? That was bullshit, plain and simple.
"Then... why has he killed like... four people?!" Katie yelled.
"I don't know. He was fine the last time I saw him yesterday. We separated when we had to look for something. And, when I saw him again..."
That's when Katie realized that Jacqueline had been tearing up the entire time. At first she thought why her face looked wet was because of dew or something, but it was clear she was upset by what's happening. But Katie had to say it. She had to say it. It was the first thing that came to mind.
"He... he killed some friends of ours" she said quietly.
Jacqueline went completely silent. Katie took a deep breath. Breathing helped when you're nervous and trying to talk. She had learned that a long time ago in drama. She couldn't help but go on.
"We... we were in the saloon. And he showed up and... and... he tried to kill us all. I had dynamite, and it was on the ground, and one of my friends tried to get it away from the bullets, and..."
Katie felt her hands start shaking as she continued trying to fix up Jacqueline's wounds. A familiar wet pressure was at her eyes. She didn't want to cry, though. This entire time, she had been trying to focus on simply getting revenge. But her memory replayed the moment of the shootout, everyone hiding, Ramona's screams at her to get the dynamite away, her attempts to push it away from the door, the explosion. Everything.
"I... I don't think I could ever forgive him!" Katie snapped.
She knew deep down she was talking about Jacqueline's friend, but honestly. Simon had to pay. She knew what he had done, and will most likely continue doing. She couldn't just sit there while he went unpunished.
A silence came over the two, and the only sounds she could hear were the occasional sounds of wilderness. Somewhere in the back, a bird cooed. For the moment, Katie was only focused on fixing her up.
Some time later, Jacqueline spoke again.
"When I saw him again, his name had come up on those... things. By that man. He wasn't making sense, he kept on saying something about... something about a girl, with a gun. He said she was with the ones who had died. He said that she's tried to kill. He wasn't making any sense at all. Until I saw her for myself."
Katie knew who she was talking about. It was obvious. There was no way it could have been. She was a little out there, certainly, but...
"... Who..." she began, but she was unable to finish.
"The one that just ran off."
Katie's eyes widened. Her mind went back to the saloon. She remembered that just before everything went... wrong
, Sycanus had shown up. Katie had invited her in, only thinking she was a little weird at most. That's when Simon entered the picture. And then once they left, she had followed them out. There was no denying it. Maybe she was right.
"Wait, so she was... she was trying to...?" Katie whispered, dumbstruck.
Jacqueline seemed to grow more tense.
"I don't know", the goth girl said. "I don't know, I don't know, I don't know..."
Katie could only continue staring at her.
"I thought he was going mad. But she's the reason he's not the Simon I met on the first day."
Katie fidgeted again, staying mostly quiet as she dressed the wounds.
"She's... she's always been a little loopy..." she quietly spoke, mostly to herself. "... talking to a bear... but... but..."
She stayed silent for a beat until the familiar voice of Benny came through the air.
"BAND MEETING! What should we do now?"
Katie slowly stood up. Jacqueline's first aid was, for the time being, almost complete. She was, however, unable to figure out what to say. Not after all that. What could she say? Another deep breath.
"We... we should go."
Katie had just realized how difficult it was for her to talk ever since the explosion. Katie was usually the one who knew what to say. But now, it was hard for her to even say something like that. She looked back at Jacqueline.
"H-hey. Can you stand?"
Katie winced. That was a stupid question. Of course she couldn't, not that well at least. She decided to rephrase it.
"Er, need help?"
Jacqueline seemed to hesitate for a beat, and then Katie saw her head slowly nod. Katie reached downwards, pulling her arm over her shoulder to pull her up and help her walk.
She didn't know what to do, not at this point.
((Katie Tanaka, Benny Lightfield, and Cameo Conroy continued in Bring Me The Head of Simon Mattheson