Cassarah, indeed, did keep on talking. She kept going on that massive moral crusade, standing on a soapbox she had no right to even own, never mind be on top of right now. She was a killer, talking down to a... well, a two time killer. But still, Jesus Christ. Hypocrisy. And it was extremely visible that Peter was getting annoyed with her shenanigans.
See, this is exactly why I wanted to just starve to death in a damned corner...
Really, the more and more Nekane popped up in the back of her head... that was the name, wasn't it... the more and more it made sense. Why take route A or route B out of all of this? She could just kill herself, and get it over with. Well, the only problem with that was the fact she was terrified to actually hurt herself, but starving to death seemed to suit the suicidal little girl in her head more than well enough. In fact, she could have sworn she heard humming right before Peter responded again, harsher this time than even before.
"Shut. The. Fuck. Up."
Umm, Cassarah, I don't think he's fu-
The loud crack that followed knocked every single one of them out of their jumbled trains of thought, Cassarah silencing immediately as the distinct sound of gunfire echoed through the cavern. Adrenaline poured through Jackie's body, felt by all, and each and every one of them, save Nekane, had the mind to leap out of the way, dive for cover, something. Thankfully, one of those with a self preservation instinct intact was in control.
Unfortunately, it wouldn't be quick enough.
If Jackie had ever been given a chance to retell the story, she would have sworn that the world slowed down. That she was thinking in normal time right up until that shot of pain, and even then. Heck, she might have even told you she heard that stereotypical acceleration noise as soon as it did occur, just as the world seemed to move back to normal again. But really, she didn't have time to process anything. A split second before anything occurred even, she heard a crack on a nearby rock, and suddenly, just fire through the entire right side of her face. It hurt so much, four voices screaming in unison in her mind, yet the cave was eerily silent as the next sound was that of chipped, carved stone falling to the ground, followed quickly by the clang of brass on the tunnel's floor.
She tried to open her mouth. Cassarah was gone, long gone, her presence not even felt like she had finally grown accustomed to. It felt... Empty. But she didn't dwell on that. Her mouth wouldn't move, the exertion causing a shockwave of hellfire and punishment to cause the entire right side of her face, or what was left of it, to convulse. Which caused even more pain, which caused a straining whimper to slide ever so reluctantly from her throat.
"I gave you the benefit of the doubt from the start. Don't make me take it back. Brendan ran off. Good enough for you? Because I'm done with you making yourself sound so righteous and wholesome. So let's turn around and walk our separate ways."
He obviously didn't seem to realize, at all, what had happened. She was incapable of responding, and he was taking the offensive again. She fluttered her eyes, straining her will, and the very fiber of her being, trying to fight to stay awake. She felt a sticky, red, warmth oozing down her shoulder, down her arm. Her right eye was twitching, and she swore that if she moved her arm to check how bad the damage was, she would throw up on the spot.
"And pray that I don't see you again, Jackie. Next time, I'll keep in mind that you're a murderer too."
She wanted to call out, nay, plead for help from the one person who had caused her this much pain. A tear rolled down her one good cheek, pricking painfully at her other eye as these mechanisms that didn't yet realize that they were destroyed still tried to work against the will of every bit of her. Every bit of energy she expended was a second less she had to keep breathing. But what was the point?
Another presence just faded away... First it was a sense of honor that she just couldn't feel welling within her anymore, and now, it was an anger, a vengeance that just evaporated. Another voice went silent.
When did her ears dunk underwater? The footsteps trailing away were just getting that much farther away, that much harder to hear. Was ear just coated in blood? Or was the blackness starting to creep into her vision not actually an illusion created by a terrified girl?
Another voice, extinguished. She no longer felt that unbridled, child like source of Joy that she had been able to bring to the surface. It's not like she could have ever identified what it felt like if she tried. But now that it was gone, it was so obvious... So incredibly obvious... She wanted nothing more than to shed a tear, her innocence not just perverted or twisted but literally dead, just as dead as she was about to become. She knew it. That fading voice, the one that had introduced itself as Nekane... She kept telling her so. Over and over, she was sure that all that she had the energy left for was a single chant. Over and over... Berating... How she deserved it...
Jackie's body went limp, but not yet her mind. Even through the pain, even through the absolute torture of watching pieces of yourself literally die in front of you as your brain shuts down...
She still had the clarity to realize now, in her dying moment, that thanks to Cassarah, Li, Nekane, and Akakios... She really wasn't alone at all.
G020: Jacquard "Jackie" Broughten - DECEASED