[Ever Since We Met... --> Ema Ryan]
The sun was already on its final descent into the horizon by the time Ema finally left that bridge behind. Once she sat down on the cold stone, and began staring into the river, it became almost impossible to move. She could move her limbs well enough, but the mental desire to actually get up and move on just wasn't forthcoming. So she sat there for hours, numbing her flesh to the point she felt as though floating, trying to decide what to do with herself.
When she'd been with Hayley, Ema hadn't had much of a sense of purpose either, in retrospect, but at least the two were never short of destinations, even if they were just for the sake of not having been to them before, or wanting somewhere more comfortable to rest their heads than before. That sense of camaraderie and, dare she say it, love, managed to replace any need for a real goal, a real sense of direction. They had each other, that was enough. The destination was secondary to the journey, so to speak.
But Ema had nobody any more, and that hollow sense of purpose seemed all the emptier without companionship to distract her from it. She had no idea where to go next, or what to do when she got to that hypothetical destination. Kill people? Make friends? Was either really going to achieve much, in the grand scheme of things? Not really. As much as she still had a few things left to live for, Ema wasn't going to pretend she actually believed she could win. Scoring more kills would just raise her profile and get her killed quicker, whilst making the winner's job that bit easier, and linking up with a group wouldn't last long, if any even existed at such a late stage in the game.
But eventually, with the failing light of the evening waning ever further, Ema resolved to at least find somewhere safe to spend the night. Sleeping under the bridge for a third time in under two weeks was disqualified on the grounds of being ridiculously uncomfortable, amongst other emotional reasons, so out came the recently plundered map. Ranger Station, not far to the south, close to enough danger zones that it probably didn't appeal to anyone else. Unless they were already there, or at least on the west half of the island. Not perfect reasoning, but it was good enough for Ema, and she set off with hopes of an actual bed for the first time in almost twelve days.
In every sense of the phrase, the place looked like a bomb had hit it. Bullet holes, a broken window, a smashed TV, holes in the walls where something had presumably been ripped out, and the general disarray that came of playing host to more than a few fights. But none of that was terribly important, because as it stood, there was a bed, and it wasn't destroyed.
Also, and perhaps more importantly, nobody else was there. Ema was no tracker, but it didn't look like anybody had been in the place for at least a few hours. The damage looked like it had happened a while ago, too. The bodies were still in residence, however. So Ema stopped for a moment to check on her ammunition - reloading her revolver and putting a fresh magazine in her Vektor -, snack on some bread and water, and generally make herself at home, before setting about moving the bodies outside. There was no running water in the taps, so she washed the blood from her hands in the sink with some drinking water, and, after some consideration, finished cleaning off what she'd missed on her neck.
All in all, things were looking up. Provided the place wasn't made a danger zone, it could make a good stronghold. Two doors - though that could be rectified with some creative use of filing cabinets - and only a few windows. But this was all, of course, wholly short-sighted. Ema knew that a little homely cottage wasn't exactly dramatic finale material, so no matter how long she could theoretically hold out there, eventually she'd have to move on to the final stage, and the longer she spent not moving, the less prepared she'd be to leave a comfort zone. So no, just stay the night, maybe come back the next morning if circumstances permitted, but otherwise keep moving. Stay mobile, stay alive.
None of that rhetoric applied this late at night, though, so with the comfortable weight of a gun in each pocket of her jeans, Ema dumped her daypack and coat on the bedside table, and sat down on the bed. She'd just relax for now, wait until dark to actually go to sleep. It was early enough yet that she might still have to worry about like-minded students looking for a bed, and about as willing to share as she was.
Bluh. Ema sat up, bleary eyed, looking around for the source of the obnoxious noise that had woken her up. Oh yeah, that was right, she was still right where she'd always been, in that place that made her feel almost like she'd never been anywhere else. True enough, nothing in her life so far had felt anywhere near as significant as the events of the last few days; watching someone die, watching friends die, killing people, getting laid, she'd crammed all the good stuff into a few incredibly hectic days. The "real" world seemed almost unreal, too bland to really be how life used to be. She was on Survival of the Fittest, just as she'd been for the past two weeks, and for the first time in all those days, she was enjoying a comfortable bed.
Ema rose, found herself a fresh shirt and, miraculously, pair of jeans. She changed quickly, not particularly a fan of flaunting her body in front of the cameras any more than she already had thus far. Though, with the casual passing over her killing of Hayley received, neglecting to even mention the circumstances properly, and then the news that just about everywhere near her was about to become a Danger Zone, Ema did feel the need to flash one thing. That thing being her middle finger.
"What the fuck, man? I finally get a decent bed, all to myself and everything, and you can't even let me enjoy the lie in... Well, I'd love to stay here doing this, but I gotta go run off to anywhere that isn't here like a derpy horse or something. Thanks a bunch, go to hell."
With that, the poor girl hurried to collect all her things, made the executive decision to steal the pillows and duvet from the bed - permanent danger zone, not gonna be missed - and stuffed them in her daypack, then sprinted out the door as fast as she could. West was a no-go, east likewise, what with the river and the danger zone on the other side. South was only mountains, which, as Ema realised after checking her map briefly, had been danger zones for quite some time. So there was nothing else for it, back to the north, off to revisit the sites of yesterday's events.
This was going to be interesting.
[Ema Ryan --> Et dans ces instants, jaimerais être comme toi par moment]
[Pretty much retroactively a private twoshot, I guess, then. Off to day 11.]