Paper Tigers

Joined: April 6th, 2009, 5:22 pm

November 15th, 2010, 3:17 am #1

((Ilario Fiametta II continued from Act I: General Anesthetic))

It was big.

That was the first thing he registered. Big and black, sleek, predatory. Familiar from just about every movie he'd ever watched with some kind of action sequence. The metal shone dully in what little rays of sun peeked through the clouds. It rested in a cardboard box, one flap folded haphazardly as though to shield it from prying eyes, a flap of what looked like thick paper wrapped around the stock. The box itself sat out in the open, a few feet from the looming shadow of the warehouse. Completely unguarded. Anyone could pick it up.

Without really thinking, his fingers stole to his collar, brushed lightly over the metal. Except not anyone. The soft beeps that had started when he entered the warehouse's vicinity had been nearly enough to set him to running far away, but somehow it had seemed so - futile. He was going to die regardless. Like Jackson. It didn't matter if it was from his collar or an enraged classmate. So he'd kept going, and was rewarded with the ceasing of the noise. And then further rewarded (his lips twitched into something that could have been a smile, maybe) if you could call it that, by this.

It was a gun. An AK-47, he thought, slowly going to his knees next to it and drawing out the folded paper, a manual for the gun's use. Big. Black. Deadly. AP History had talked about them, and their role in the world order. He had seen the pictures. He never thought he would touch one, but here he was, fingernails with thair manicure chipped and broken sliding over the barrel, stopping just shy of the trigger. It was surprisingly beautiful, he found himself thinking. Almost elegant.

It was his.

It was a prize. For Jackson. For Jackson dying. For killing Jackson, he reminded himself, he had to start using the word. He had done it. He could not block it away, couldn't pretend like it had never happened. He had pulled a trigger and Jackson had fallen with one eye missing and there was just no way to spin it in a way that wasn't killed. And the game had agreed. The game had given him something to kill more people with.

He hesitated, then reached inside the box and drew out the gun. It was heavy in his hands, but seemed to fit, like it was a part of his body. No. Not a part of him. Metal and plastic. Couldn't start thinking of it like that. He had killed but that didn't mean he would kill again. Didn't mean he had to. He could change. Wasn't that the definition of a hero? Someone who was tempted and turned against it?

He wanted to be a hero. He wanted to live but if he had to die then god, he wanted to die in a way that would let people remember him fondly. He wanted his father to be proud of him. His sisters to see him more as simply a useful object, a crutch when they needed him. He would be that person. For once in his life, he would do the correct thing, he would be the better person.

There was a magazine sitting in the bottom of the box. He read the instructions, slotted it neatly in. Checked the safety. It was on. Moved the selector lever off safety, settled it on full-automatic. That would be the easiest way. Kept himself kneeling - it was a big gun, there would be recoil. Settled it into his shoulder. Wound his finger around the trigger, and aimed at the side of the warehouse.

No one would be able to use it as a weapon. Once the bullets were gone, he would bury it. It would not contribute to this game, and neither would he. He would atone for Jackson's death and when a knife finally slipped between his ribs he would go singing to hie eternal rest, because he would have done the right thing.

His finger tightened.

And the thought that had been struggling through his mind since he had tried to shut Jackson's dead eyes finally bubbled to the surface, a treacherous thought, slinking around his synapses.

Heroes don't let people die. Heroes don't let people kill.

His finger - shifted. Slipped off the trigger.

Heroes don't. If he pulled the trigger and sent the bullets flying into nothingness, buried the sleek metal machine of destruction, it would not kill people. He would not kill people. But his name was not the only one on the announcement. There had been others. Those who were not heroes. Those who were villains. Those who killed for pleasure.

When we have a violent dog, we euthanize it. We end its life.

He pulled the gun into his lap. It shone, caught the light. Real heroes kill the people who need to be killed. Real heroes put them down like dogs. And there were many who had snapped under the game and now required dealing with. He remembered the names. Remembered the faces.

He could save people.

He could save people the way Jackson saved him.

He could be a true hero.

And his father would be proud. His sisters - he could save them. Before their names were read out. This gun was not a reward, it was a gift. Someone was showing him the way. Someone was showing how everything could not be in vain, how all he'd ever worked for could be his. Because this way, this way - he could be the person they had always wanted him to be.

The person he wanted to be.

The person he needed to be.

Ragged fingernails slipped the selector lever back into the safety position. He stood. Shouldered his pack. The gun was heavy, but it was a good weight, solid in his hands, resting against his chest. He would go out and do good works, and he would live up to the weight of his namesakes, show them, show them...

What kind of a person Ilario Fiametta III really was.

((Ilario Fiametta III continued in Nothing But Soundwaves))

marc st. yves
light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire
{food for thought}

phineas rosario
fall down seven times stand up eight
sebastian conway
can't see the forest for the trees
{book of sparrows}
(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)