Love, Fear, Choices and Astronauts

Mr. Danya
Joined: February 22nd, 2013, 1:59 am

January 7th, 2017, 3:44 am #1

((Min-jae Parker continued from Happy Hour with the Deicide Squad))

This room smelled like death.

It wasn’t overpowering, not yet, but it was strong enough that as soon as Jae stepped into the one-on-one area, he knew. He continued on in anyway, crossbow in one hand, ready to be raised. Corpses meant potential supplies.

One hour, give or take. That’s what he had given Asha and Dorothy after they dragged him out of the chapel. They wanted to head up to the roof where Wayne had thrown himself off to pay their respects and collect Asha’s stolen supplies. Jae didn’t like the idea of more stairs, so he would stay down here and scavenge what he could, then regroup with them when the time was up. He needed something to focus on.

Danya’s words played in a constant loop in his head. The lines of blood between them connected perfectly, stretching from Alessio to Cameron to Jae to Henry. Unbroken, when he could have stepped in and stopped it.

Had Vanessa found Cameron, before it happened? Had she been able to say goodbye? Was she lost in a fog and furious and broken too?

The first body had been looted already. One of the Luzes, though Jae couldn’t say which one off the top of his head, nor could he be sure how many of them had been on the trip in the first place. He’d heard more than one name already. He didn’t linger.

The second body was more recognizable. Abby Floyd, by all accounts nice, dependable, pretty much the opposite of her human shitstain of a cousin (also deceased by this point, and Jae almost didn’t blame Kimiko for that one). Offed herself the first day. Who did you blame, when that was the case? Had anyone cursed Abby for her decision? Danya? Some unknowable higher power? You can’t find and destroy the despair that pushed someone over the edge.

Abby didn’t have anything useful on her either, her bag either stolen or left behind. What did it say, that he was annoyed now when people didn’t leave behind anything for him to steal?

Glass crunched beneath his boots as he moved from room to room. Someone, or multiple someones, had taken their ire out on the mirrors that had once divided doctor from patient. Jae was careful of his footing; stumbling here could mean slicing his knee or hand open, and he preferred to keep as much blood inside his body as possible-

Speaking of blood.

For several long moments, there was nothing at all in Jae’s head as he stared at the third body. His eyes didn’t want to recognize what they were seeing, though it wasn’t like denial would do anything for anybody at this point.

Henry hadn’t died peacefully. He’d known that already. But the blood congealed on the floor, the shattered glass, the way Henry was curled in on himself like he was trying to hold himself or hide…

Jae had a good visual imagination and a good memory for images. It came with being an artist. And he knew that he would never, ever be able to not remember this as vividly as he saw it now.

He dropped his bag and took a few unsteady steps towards Henry. Not Henry. Henry’s body. Henry was gone from here, back into the ever-turning wheel of the universe, and this was just his empty shell. He wasn’t suffering anymore. In a purely spiritual sense, the sight of the body shouldn’t have upset him at all except to know that someone had murdered and hurt their own karma.

Jae wasn’t sure what he was feeling at the moment, but it was the furthest thing from spiritual.

He’d… okay. He’d loved Henry. As a friend, maybe as something else, but he hadn’t gotten his shit together enough to figure out what before everything went so wrong. Because out of everyone who did more than tolerate him and seemed to actually like him for whatever reason, Henry had always believed in him the most. Even when Jae was moody, angry, and generally being a shitty friend, Henry kept smiling and talking about how much fun he had when they spent time together. He wanted to think that Henry had gone on believing in him to the end, but that was mainly for his own comfort.

The fact of the matter was this: his best friend, whom he had loved, had died scared, alone, and in pain, because Jae had stayed his hand when he shouldn’t have. He had killed Henry by letting Alessio live.

Jae sat down carefully near Henry – Henry’s body – in a spot free of blood and glass. He drew his knee up to his chest, arms wrapped around his leg. He brushed his hand over Henry’s briefly, but he was cold and starting to go stiff, and it made Jae’s stomach churn.

He had vague thoughts of trying to move the body, but where? To the gardens outside? The church? Insects and rot would find him no matter where he was left, and trying to make him look peaceful wouldn’t change how he died.

Alessio Rigano. Jae knew what he looked like, had a face to match to the name now. Alessio Rigano; short, black hair, white sweatshirt, pickaxe. Crossbow bolt in his neck, the next time they met. No words, no reasoning, no pleading. He didn’t care.

He had a list in his head now, fucked up as that was. Alessio Rigano. Alvaro Vacanti. Nancy Kyle. Isabel Ramirez. Kimiko Kao. Shoot on sight, no questions asked, no matter how mad Asha got at him for it. Others could be given the benefit of the doubt, but only from a distance, only if he knew them. Anyone else was guilty until proven innocent. It was time to stop handing out second chances.

Jae hadn’t noticed his own tears until they started to soak into the bandages on his face, and he grimaced, swiping at his eyes. The tears kept coming, though, and there was nobody in here to see or hear him besides the impassive eye of the camera.

Jae pressed his forehead to his knee and cried – noisily, pathetically, pained.

The hour was probably up by the time his tears had run dry. Jae didn’t feel like moving, but he didn’t feel like staying here in this corpse room either, and he wasn’t about to be late for the meeting time he himself had mandated.

Standing was effort, as had become the norm. He picked up the crossbow and his bag, followed by the staff laying nearby after a moment’s hesitation, and spared one last look for the empty shell that had been his best friend.

“Thank you,” he said quietly, knowing that nothing lingered to hear him. “For seeing the best in me, while you could.”

He didn’t look back again as he left. Keep moving forward; there was nothing else to do.

((Min-jae Parker continued in I swear I'm not a jumper.))
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
[+] Spoiler
G063 Natali Greer was just unlucky.
B047 Marcus Leung lost his way. (Adopted from Solomir.)

B001 Min-jae Parker is locked away.
B021 Crist?bal Morales let his guard down.
G017 Raina Rose got washed away.
G003 Bridgette Sommerfeld got a shock. (Adopted from Aloha.)
G029 Georgia Lee Day went home. (Adopted from frogue.)
Nathan Lovegrove was left behind.

V7 Pregame:
Myles Roux is considering his options.
Dolores Upton is exploring the past.
Andy Silverman is balling out.
Siyanda Nagi is on the run.
Mercy Ames is passing judgment.
[+] Spoiler
[+] Spoiler

[+] Spoiler