The Nthn Wave

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October 10th, 2014, 3:13 am #1

((Ashley Namath: RBP2 - TV2 - Last Time In You Remind Me))

Caroline was dead, Ashley already knew that. Colin was not, according to the announcements. Whatever. She had done what she needed to do back then. If something went wrong, it was just something she'd have to deal with again later. That seemed to be a theme of her life lately. The whole world comes back around to snap you in the ass. Maybe she had done something really bad in a past life to get what she had to deal with now. Certainly none of this could be her own fault. She'd been the one trying to be smart and sane, and look where it got her.

But, now was not the time to dwell on that sort of thing again. Ashley shivered as she balled up in a corner, using a red and white checkered table blankets to cover herself. It was a kind of Italian restaurant, the smell of Parmesan and an incredibly stereotypical Italian man holding a pizza painted on the wall being the key hints. Ashley tossed and turned, still cold. Blankets. She needed more blankets.

Ashley stood on begrudging legs and walked around in the dark, squeezing the benches and chairs on some path. She didn't want to attract anybody with the light. However, she didn't factor in the potential noise of blindly bumbling. Her hips had bumped into one of the tables she had been looking for, causing the salt and pepper shakers to roll off and crash to the floor, and to make a startled curse.
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October 12th, 2014, 5:45 pm #2

((Pia Malone continued from I Played it Out))

Wandering around the resort at night wasn't good for Pia's nerves. Every shadow around every corner promised to be another Genni, another Sarah, or some other person with a grudge who wouldn't show the same restraint. When the announcements echoed all across the seemingly-empty resort again, she'd been half-convinced that Sarah would come storming back with a vengeance once she heard that Pia had "switched up her game", as it were.

The food court area had been appealing, promising a variety of places to hole up for the remainder of the night and maybe some better food than the plastic-wrapped gas station fare they'd been provided with. Pia was kind of hoping for a bakery of some sort; she found herself longing for the warmth of her uncle's shop and the comforting smells of sweets and batter.

God, she wanted to go home. How many people left, after this announcement? How much more time could she afford to waste before she absolutely had to start mowing down everyone she saw to get the ten? How much closer to it was Jewel now?

The sound of something falling and a voice, vaguely familiar, jolted Pia out of her thoughts. She froze near the entrance of the building, half-tempted to flee back out into the cold. A howling gust of wind that rattled the doors made up her mind for her, and she crouched down in a corner, sliding her bag off her shoulder as quietly as possible and setting the gun on top of it. She clasped her sore, red hands together in an attempt to return some more feeling to them and waited, both for Paisley to slip through the door behind her and for another sound from whoever it was that was already inside.
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October 12th, 2014, 8:47 pm #3

She was still.

The wind banged on the doors, letting the faintest speckle of moonlight glitter through their screens. Now the only things inside were her, and what she hoped were only the images in her mind. She covered her mouth with her hands, trying to preserve heat and sound.

All she could do was try to move. Step by step, each more frigid and afraid then the last. Again the wind banged, and again light shined through, forming something or someone that had not been there before. She would make her way to the corner...if she had not been frozen out of fear, as the last light forced itself in, and Ashley now swore she saw the glint of an eye, muffling a different kind of swear.

Just staring.

Still.
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October 13th, 2014, 6:33 pm #4

There.

A figure in the darkness, indistinct but clearly there. Pia couldn't tell if they were looking in her direction or not and she stayed still another moment more, trying to rub a bit more feeling into her hands. Where the heck was Paisley? She should have stopped outside to make sure they were still together, but she'd been overcome by the desire to get in out of the wind. Stupid. Careless.

She reached for the Vektor again, fingers tingling. It didn't look like whoever it was had moved. Pia wished that teams were listed along with the dead during the announcements. Team kills didn't count, and she couldn't risk just firing off into the darkness if there was still a chance that she'd hit someone they needed. They didn't need anymore disaster brought on by recklessness than she'd already brought them, great as the temptation was.

"Who's there?"
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October 15th, 2014, 2:36 am #5

The voice shattered her fear and freed her legs. They ran into the wall, and Ashley dropped to the floor looking for her gun. She pawed at the floor just trying to find the one thing she had that no one else did. It turned out to be a pointless effort, as she already knew that they could find her before she could it.

She kicked back into her corner, hitting her bag and something metallic in the back. Her hands tried to hold it again, but she needed time, needed to be cold without being scared. Couldn't be afraid, had to be aware. Stall them.

"D-d-depends who's asking."

And now, those bought seconds would only tell if the other one liked that non-answer or not.
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October 16th, 2014, 6:38 pm #6

Pia inhaled, held it for a second, and exhaled slowly through her mouth, trying not to make any extra noise. The voice was almost familiar enough to place, but she was still too distracted by cold and adrenaline to stop and think about it. "Same to you, then."

She gripped the Vektor and rose just slightly. She crept out of the corner, balanced on the balls of her feet and sticking close to the wall, avoiding crossing in front of the doors. Her shoes squeaked just slightly against the floor, but stopping to take them off would leave her vulnerable. She couldn't tell where the other girl was exactly, but she was making enough noise to pinpoint a general direction. Keep track of her, avoid giving clues about her own position as much as possible. Easy enough in theory.

There was a clatter of something metallic and Pia tensed. Was the other girl armed, camping out so she could pick off anybody who intruded on her, or was she defenseless and hiding in the dark? It wasn't Jewel in there, she was pretty sure, and she hadn't been attacked yet. Pia realized belatedly that she should have asked for the other girl's team before she moved; if she spoke again now, it would give away where she was.

The wind howled again, making the building creak, and Pia moved forward again, using the sounds of the weather to cover her own. She could make out more shapes in the darkness now, and she squinted into the gloom, willing one of them to identify itself.
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October 19th, 2014, 5:34 am #7

So, there it was. The final stepping stone into confrontation. Ashley strangled the grip of her gun as the other one finished speaking. The wind's light showed that they were moving, so Ashley stood. It was a trade. Ashley was silent, and the other on the move.

What was left was visibility. Ashley pulled her gun out front, popping the barrel of her gun, feeling the backs of golden gun shells. Her wrist jerked the barrel back into place, making a kind of clacking noise in the process. It wasn't loud, but it was heard.

So, what to do now? She couldn't run, there wasn't enough room to hide, and she didn't even know where the other person was. Out of other options, Ashley fired her gun once. She was in a state of meekness, so she took the strongest option.
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October 20th, 2014, 2:32 am #8

The shot echoed louder in the nearly-empty food court than it would have outside. Pia was saved not by her steely nerves or her ingenuity, but by the simple fact that her cold, achy muscles caused her to stumble and drop to one knee instead of jumping up when she heard it. She heard, felt the bullet whiz by somewhere overhead, maybe through where her head would have been had she managed to stand. The time for introductions and pleasantries was pretty clearly over.

She raised the Vektor, a part of her noting how reflexive and almost natural the action had become, and fired off into the general direction of the shape in the darkness before scrambling to the side. She needed a wall, a table, anything that she could use for actual, solid cover.

And where the hell was Paisley? Pia had thought that Paisley was right behind her, but her eagerness to get inside had trumped any thoughts of taking a head count while they were outside. Damn it.
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October 20th, 2014, 5:15 am #9

And then there was light, and it was painful. The flash from her gun scared and blinded her. The second light, not hers, whipped her hip in a flying cut. It also gave her something to see. A few somethings. A face, a body, a location.

Had to go now. Ashley was still standing, but the other one was down. Ashley just hoped that it could stay like that for a longer. Her gun was held, lowered at the opposing side of her waist that was bleeding, and she fired again. Hit or not, Ashley would see where the other one was.

The light was gone now, but Ashley was still charging at what she had seen. Light but loud footfalls in the darkness, Ashley's gun hand cocked a long way back and fell through.
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Joined: April 19th, 2010, 1:16 pm

October 21st, 2014, 2:44 am #10

(Paisley Hopkins continued from I Played it Out.)

"Hey, Eli?"

No response.

Typical, really. Paisley figured her bandanna was covering the microphone. She couldn't prove that. She would have to see inside of the collar and... well. That wasn't an option.

God. She really hoped Tucker was okay? She didn't hear his name on the announcements. Unless she missed it. But Pia would have told her about that. Right? Just like she did when Marcus killed someone? Oh. That was Vahka. She must have forgot. Slipped her mind. Nothing to worry about.

... She was alone, wasn't she? Just Pia and Paisley, and Pia was inside the food court.

Paisley sighed. She let out an 'ugh', then gave up altogether. For now it was just her and her own thoughts. No Pia. Tugging the bandanna back up, Paisley turned to look out. The Food Court sat out over the boardwalk, and she could see the beach beyond it. It was odd; she'd been to the beach countless times as a kid, but she never... saw the ocean this time of year. It was serene. Peaceful. It made whatever worries she had flow away with the tide.

She smiled briefly. But then she remembered Corin. And that destroyed whatever meek smile she put on.

It was her decision. Kissing Corin. It made her feel... powerful was not the right word. Empowered? She neglected to ask how Corin felt though, and she didn't give him a chance to react. At the time she held no regret, but looking back on it, she felt dreadful about the whole thing. Should she have ditched him like that? Maybe she should have brought him along. Maybe...

There was a bang. A gunshot. From inside the food court.

Pia.

Paisley ran. The door was already open so Pia leapt inside. There were another bang and a flash, which meant at least two people. One of them had to be Pia. She lost Pia. That was Paisley's first mistake. Letting her wander off. Dangerous to separate. She thought she told Pia that she was going to talk to her mentor. So very stupid.

Feeling small, Paisley pressed her back against the wall nearest the door. Paisley wanted to call out to Pia - But no, it would be stupid to give out her position, especially with people shooting at one another.

She was crying again. It was like the tears started pouring on their own. What if the two figures - what if neither of them was - What if Pia was de- Paisley slapped her cheek. Get it together. One of those guns sounded exactly like Pia's pistol. It wasn't exact science but close enough for government work.

No tears, no, she had no time. Pia needed her.

Her eyes adjusted to the dark, barely but it was better than nothing. She could see the shapes in the distance, abhorrent but visible. She remembered one of the figures being stationary, but the food court was so small that the outlines of the two people stood out. She figured the one closest to the door, the stationary one, was Pia. Or was Pia the pair of feet squeaking across the floor?

Christ. She had no idea. She didn't know. She could not tell. Her hands shook. Tears streamed down her face. She needed a sign. Something for her to work off of. She couldn't make anything out and the thought of accidentally shooting Pia made her nauseous. Paisley needed a sign. Any sign.

The sign came as another gunshot. A third. From the running figure.

The flash was brief. She could not make out a face. But what she could make out? The figure was not Pia. And that was all she needed to know.

The first time Paisley shot at someone, there was hesitation, she fired without thinking. The second time she knew what she was doing, no time to hesitate. She was a killer. Nothing would change that. She'd prove Sarah wrong though. She was more than just a killer, she was a friend.

Paisley followed the path of where the figure was going, not where it was at. No hesitation. Paisley gritted her teeth, the kind that screamed 'get your shit together'. Matt's gun felt like a third arm when she pulled the trigger.
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October 21st, 2014, 2:54 pm #11

((GMing approved by Ciel))

Flash. Darkness. Flash. Darkness. Knees sore, muscles aching from cold. The slightest tinge of panic on the edge of her mind, that little lizard part of your brain that always starts clawing at you during a disaster. This wasn't a disaster yet, was it?

Pia fired again, scrabbled for cover. To the door or deeper inside? Lizard brain gnawing at her, telling her to drop the gun and curl up into a ball and wait for Paisley because it might not be more of a disaster than anything else, but it was the first time she really felt alone.

Flash. Darkness.

She tried to get up and get her feet under her, and barked her shin on an overturned chair, drawing out a short, wordless yelp. Knees aching, hands aching, heart hammering, where the hell was Paisley?

Waiting to be the final push to make these disaster dominoes get going, as it turned out.

The door slammed open, flooding in weak, watery moonlight and a gust of freezing air. Pia was halfway standing, reaching out to Paisley to warn her, there's a crazy bitch with another gun in here, are you deaf, don't just stand there, and-

Flash. Darkness.

Heat.

Pain.

The Vektor was torn out of Pia's grasp and she had an instant of clarity, an image as sharp and clear as a photograph. She saw her hand, saw where her ring finger was crooked and hanging by a thread and the chunk of it where her little finger was just gone.

The brick of terror dropped into her brain with enough force to make her stagger, little sounds clawing out of her throat that might have been screams if she had been able to catch her breath. Paisley had shot her. The girl in the darkness had shot her. She didn't know. She couldn't think, couldn't speak, and god how fucking stupid was it that even after killing three people, none of it had seemed as real as when it was finally her turn on the chopping block?

Gun. Lost. Flash. Darkness. Paisley. Paisley's gun. The sharp, electric, irrational fear that told her to just scream and claw and kick and run until the person who had done this to her was gone.

"Paisley!"

And she lunged.

No time to think about what it looked like to everyone else, to the cameras, to her family. She all but barreled into Paisley, snatching at the barrel of the gun, letting out a little hissing shriek when it seared the palm of her good hand. Gun. Get the gun, get the gun, get the gun.

It was only a few seconds before Pia was able to snatch the rifle from Paisley's grasp, but every second they wasted was another that might get them dead. She shoved Paisley to the side, turned, curled her functional hand around the trigger and fired.

The kick knocked the butt of the gun into her ribs, making her already labored breathing even more painful, but she just fired again. And again. Force them down, force them away, kill them, run. Oh god, run.

Pia fired until the clip was empty and did just that.

If she had been at home watching, she might have jokingly compared it to a little kid going into a panicked frenzy after being stung by a bee. Insignificant. Comical. Just the realization that you can, in fact, get hurt and maybe you should have kept your damn eyes open, kid.

Pia tore off into the night, alone.

((Pia Malone continued in Up, M'lady...))
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October 24th, 2014, 1:34 am #12

Ashley connected with the air. There was another flash, and she saw blood, a gun, and a finger wrapped around it. There was collateral sounds fading the other way. Ashley didn't properly realize the situation, but she knew that she wasn't involved in it anymore.

Time to flee. Another flash and Ashley had already grabbed her bag. One more and she grabbed the other gun on the floor. It was already dark, but Ashley had her eyes sealed tight. She ended up falling out through the door, into the cold night and snow, but she couldn't feel any of it.

She opened her eyes and was met by a simmering wet pain from her waist. The wound was a wreck, and it's pain only intensified as she stretched it out by standing up again, letting the brisk wind try to tame it. With the scene of violence behind her, Ashley trudged away, her only anesthetic was how livid she was.

Livid because this all didn't need to happen, that it mattered to neither her or the others. It was just a moment where she got hurt, and could do nothing about it.

((Ashley Namath: RBP2 - TV2 - Continued Next Time In...That Rhyming Oneshot))
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November 2nd, 2014, 9:52 pm #13

It was exciting, really. She had never done something like this, and it was equal parts exhilarating and nerve-wracking.

Paisley Hopkins was not what you would call a fallen angel. As much as she hated whenever her parents called her a 'good girl', it was not an exaggeration. She always did as she was told and she never misbehaved. Maybe that was why everything felt so intense. Paisley never skipped class. Never.

Whittree Secondary School was strict. You could not so much as smoke in the girl's bathroom without being reprimanded. It would be nigh on impossible to skip class. Every teacher took attendance, and even one miss. Playing hookie was impossible, unless you put on an Oscar worthy performance as a kid with a nasal infection.

There was one way, however. A loophole, rather than an actual solution, but it was a way. Paisley often helped the school's librarian, and she noticed that one could easily use that as a way to skip class. You wouldn't even need a hall pass or a written note. All you needed to do was just let the homeroom teacher know that you're helping out at the library. Paisley Hopkins frequented the library more than the average student, so she didn't expect her Statistics teacher to give the third degree. And he didn't, to her immense relief.

Paisley could have easily skipped school. It was certainly easy; all she had to do was walk out the door. The staff at Whittree were strict, and they did not have a John Hughes-patent sense of humor. But since Paisley had leave school early multiple times to take her sister Ivy to a class or a function, she could not see any of her teachers thinking too deeply on her absence. Having a deaf sister has it's perks, as bad of a taste that left in her mouth.

But, alas, Paisley would not be playing hookie. Even if she wanted to, she could not. Her reasons for skipping homeroom seemed white bread in comparison to Ferris Bueller; she forgot to do an assignment for Journalism. Journalism was her second period class. That meant she had less than two hours to finish it.

No sweat though. Paisley had everything she needed. She could easily bang out the essay, edit it, and get to her class early to boot. All she needed was a quiet place to do it, and the library was the best place for it.

The butterflies in her stomach fluttered as she heard the library door close behind her. She could not stop smiling. The librarian smiled at her as she passed, and she gave her a meek wave in response. Paisley knew where she had to go. At the end of the sprawling sat a lounge area with a dozen tables, perfect for doing schoolwork. Almost no one used them. The library was impressive, and apart from the occasional class doing research on the computers, it was pretty much empty.

Empty, except from a man in a black suit.

He sat at one of the tables with a coffee and a magazine. He glanced as she arrived, staring. The placed the magazine face-down. She stared at him, at the magazine, then back at him. He narrowed his eyes with such intensity that it gave Paisley goosebumps. She didn't know why. It wasn't like he was particularly suspicious. It was just... it's very odd to see an adult in a high school library at the crack of down. The whole situation was made even stranger by the fact that he seemed... confused? Shocked? Annoyed? She could not read his face. That was probably why she was nervous.

Regardless, Paisley did not want to seem rude. He... probably thought she would be a distraction. She laughed, nervous, then managed a tiny wave.

"Hello," Paisley said, "Gosh, I'm sorry. I didn't know anyone was there."

The man said nothing. Paisley wanted to leave it at that, but something in her chest spurred her on.

"Are you waiting for someone? I didn't mean to intrude. I was just coming over here to study."

Again, the man said nothing. The man looked her over. His lips creased at a backslash. He put his coffee down and looked her straight in the eye.

"... Name."

That knocked the wind out of her. Her eyes went wide. "E-Excuse me?"

"What is your name?"

Paisley blinked. She looked over her shoulder, and for a moment she wondered if he was working for the school. A NARC, as it were, trying to catch freeloaders. Crap. Crap crap crap, she didn't consider that. Paisley swallowed back a lump that she could have swore was her lung. Lord, her parents were going to kill her when they found out. Tucker wouldn't let her hear the end of it!

"I asked you a question," the man said, slightly irritated, "I expect an answer. What is your name?"

Paisley straightened, trying to act calm. She fished for an excuse.

"Paisley Hopkins, sir. I was helping the librarian, I-I do that sometimes. I thought I could get some studying done while I'm here... I..."

Paisley was a terrible liar, but if the man caught her, he didn't show it. In fact he said nothing else. His face turned a flushed crimson, and he made a face Paisley could not recognize. He turned from her, pulled out his cellphone and started typing away.

She decided not to sit next to him. He was kind of creepy.

She found a table near the lip of the lounge area. She tried not to look at the man as she dropped the bag into an empty chair. He kept looking up at her, She brushed the thought from her mind though. Time was of the essence. Unzipping it, Paisley pulled out the laminated articles and her notepad. She sat down, opened her notebook and clicked her mechanical pencil. She put pencil to paper and shuffled through the articles. She heard a creak. That's when the man stood up and
Paisley screamed and opened her eyes.

Her scream carried an echo and it made her pause. She breathed in, exhaled, then shot up. A throbbing pain hit her as she sat up. Slouching forward, Paisley held her head and gasped for air.

"Oh crap, my head..."

Paisley rose out of instinct, pressing her hand against the wall and pushing. She got as far as a generous lean. The second she pushed off the wall, her world swam and Paisley lost balance. Her shoulder hit a corner and the pain made her wince and whimper. She hissed, sucked in air through her teeth.

"Pia? Pia, where are you?"

There was no answer.

Was Pia dead? No, no, that wasn't right. Paisley wasn't sure what happened. There was shooting, two people, one of whom she did not recognize. Paisley She remembered Pia screaming her name. And then Pia shoved her? Paisley wasn't sure of that. Why would Pia push her? Did she want Paisley to get down? Paisley could not remember. Context was beyond her. Gunshots, and then everything went blank.

Paisley gasped. Did she faint? What time was it? How long was she out for? Did Pia leave? Did she ditch her? No, now wasn't the time. She had to get up. Where was her gun? Paisley had to get up.

The wall was the only thing holding her up, but her shoulder seized with pain and she could not right herself. Feeling her knees buckle, Paisley felt around the niche for something to pull herself up. She found a pipe. Water pipe, gas pipe, some pipe jutting from the wall. Her fingers felt around, rust staining her fingers. Her index and middle fingers ran across an even bump, not large but very noticeable. She felt her head instinctively, wincing. The how's and why's did not matter. No time for that. Get your head in the game. Paisley had to get up. She had to find Pia.

She pushed on the pipe and rose to her feet. Her knees shook, but the pain in her head subsided and she could manage. Her bag was still there. Paisley, fishing out the flashlight. She turned it on, held it in her hand. Shining the beam across the floor, she found spent casing littering the ground near her feet. A chill crept up on her spine.

"Hello?" Paisley shined the light out, "Is anyone there?"

But Paisley knew she was alone. She knew the second the food court lit up. She searched the World Oyster for a time. She found cookers, utensils, a broken table and chair. She did not find Pia. She did not find Matthew's gun. She was absolutely alone with no gun, only a flashlight and a broom pole.

Over her time on the island, Paisley ran the gambit of emotion. But for the first time in two days, silence.

She stood there for a time, dumbly, in the middle of an abandoned food court. The cold air seeped through the open door, eating away at what little skin her clothing exposed. Soon her whole body numbed over. So numb that when she broke one of the windows to the Irish Pub and a broken shard of glass sliced the tip of her pinkie, she felt nothing.

(Paisley Hopkins continued in Matthew 13:35 KJV : )
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