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LIE WITH YOUR BONES -> aqualung
 
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 aqualung, open
HEX
 Posted: Sep 1 2015, 02:06 PM
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JM
12 POSTS

Open up the gates of hell and roll me through


HEX
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940. open
gone to bed, god is dead lies and truth are in my head
In recent weeks he preferred the moderate seclusion of the beach. It was rare that anyone came out this way, though many probably wanted too. Besides that, the space was typically vast enough to segregate. Hex camped most often in the tree line, out of sight out of mind for any potential trouble. More so, it was a place for him to get himself together. The boy wasn't entirely aware of himself in a way to know a lot of the things he did made him feel like hell... he didn't always take care of himself the way he should. Not like it was incredibly simple, but he knew damn well how.

Hex did nothing to subdue the withdrawals, he allowed his body to ache and falter between hot and cold. After many occasions of dealing with this sort of thing he managed to attribute it to the things he ingested on a regular basis. Poison leaving his body. A low growl escaped as he became frustrated with what he was doing. Hands shaking and fingers numb he attempted to fix one of the fishnets he had found some time ago. Parts were dry rotted or torn from previous catches. Just a few holes to patch, but he just couldn't quite do it. Finally giving in he leaned back against one of the handful of barren trees skirting the beach. He wasn't in dire need of food supply... he had managed to snag three fish earlier, before his spear swam away. It had been a fun experience. An old family friend used the method years ago but Hex had only recently attempted it.

The sand here was different than anywhere else, he noted as he pulled the heel of his boot through it. This wasn't home, it wasn't the same dry dusty sand. With his head back still his eyes began to close. The net dropped onto his lap and he reached up pulling his hood down over his eyes to block some of the sun. His mind wandered as he drifted in and out of consciousness, mostly toying with the idea of making a more permanent move to this area. It would never happen. Hex was a drifter and couldn't be trusted to stay somewhere for an extended period of time. But, sleep. Sleep was not something restful, a half-sleep. His eyes were closed but his brain ran off in many directions. More often than not the more horrifying experiences of his short life would replay in his head where he couldn't escape it. Not without help, anyway.

In the midst of one of these fever dreams, something echoed through the back of his mind. The sound moved, something unidentified as it edged closer and closer to reality. It got louder then disappeared. When the worn down man finally willed himself to wakefulness he jumped to his feet at one final cry. On the verge of a heart attack, he looked around not knowing what he heard. Some sort of screaming, something human. Or so it seemed. Thoroughly startled, he retreated into the tree line and began picking through the sundry underbrush and remains that intertwined the trees. Was it real? Or just his imagination? Walking parallel to the ocean he kept an eye out and saw nothing. A colony of seagulls. They were fighting over the remains of something, landing then taking off again with their high pitched screams. Hex crouched down squinting whilst he watched.

Forever curious, Hex waited in the trees watching the scene unfold. They were ravenous, and oddly enough he’d seen humans do the same thing. Tear at each other, scrapping over carcasses. His legs ached, calves throbbing he stood up again. Hex was still alone, and that was all that mattered at the moment. Hollowed eyes scanned the beach once more before he took a few steps out into the sand. The sun blared down persistently so he drew up his hood, pulling it forward to help shield his eyes. His weight shifted, body feeling weak and unwilling. Then there was something.

Small spurts of adrenaline threatened to burst forth flooding his veins. A human figure in the distance, traveling alone... Cautiously he trotted back to the trees, weaving through towards the visitor. He squatted down again with a fair distance between himself and the unknown. His eyes flashed as he felt the stressful surge in his lungs. Why he moved closer rather than away was a good question. Hex was in no condition to put up a fight. For now, he had to keep from giving himself away until he could figure out who it was. With that he clasped his hands over his mouth and inched himself closer to the sand outlay. Fumbling and shaking he fought with the bandana he kept around his neck, roughly pulling it up to cover his nose and mouth. Again his hands went back a controlled cough sputtered and he held his breath. It was a stupid position to be in, he should’ve gone back to his little camp and hid away. He shouldn’t have run – stirring up his lungs. There had been so many things he shouldn’t have done, but did anyway. The consequences of his actions would remain to be seen and for the time being he held onto that last breath as the grainy blackness closed in on his field of vision. Either he would have to breathe, or he was going down. Hex chose the latter as the figure grew closer. Blackness consumed his sight and he went limp, slumping face first into the gritty sand.

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KINNIKI
 Posted: Oct 7 2015, 01:16 AM
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8 POSTS

cross the peaks


KINNIKI
THE TOURIST


Kinniki didn’t dream. This sleep was more like head filled in with dark stone, deep under the turning earth. It was a hard, speeding blackness that would turn her muscles into gravel and the soft sides of her eyelids as coarse as hog leather. It would be fair to say that she wasn’t even sleeping; she was just ‘out’. Out cold. Like a rock. Kinniki had been in this way since the moon had set last night, and she’d tripped on a rock or a rope. Completely exhausted, she’d lost consciousness before her face had hit the hard, wet sand.

Now, hours later, sharp pain pierced through the sleeping girl like a bullet, tearing a hole through her sleep, and she was suddenly bombarded by all her senses: A chorus of inhuman shrieking, a mouth full of brine and bile that made her stomach rise, the lance of morning light into her dry eyes, the sting of sand at the back of her her nose as she inhaled, the discomfort of her grit-and-wax-filled ears and the unpleasant scorch of the sun cooking her black hair- but most of all//

many pairs of claws pulling, raking over her back and legs, and something piercing into her shoulder blade, through the skin, digging, furrowing, tearing, and then- oh. The sensation of something pulling a scrap of muscle out of her body, not just the agony, but the overwhelming horror and wrongness of it//

Kinniki erupted from the ground with a wild shriek, flailing her arms wildly and sending the seagulls flying around in a cloud of noise and feathers and blood. “Not dead yet, I’m NOT DEAD YET, I AM NOT!” She howled as the white birds cried and cursed, diving back at her with their scissor beaks and their tough pink claws. Savage, Kinniki grabbed out and caught one by the foot. She reached past strong beating wings that buffeted her in the face and body, and she tore its screaming head off. By the time that decapitated body stopped beating at her, the rest of the flock had got the picture and took off. Presumably in search of a more yielding breakfast.

Kinniki stood there, chest heaving. She was painted in sand and bird blood and bird shit, and her back, she could feel, was oozing with blood of her own. “Not dead. Not dead yet.” She muttered to reassure herself, casting about with bloodshot eyes. Had to get her bearings.

She was alone on an empty beach west-by-southwest of Vegas, location: el Long Fucking Way From The Plantation, and a stiff salty wind was coming from the west, tugging at her hair. The sun was three quarters of the way up the sky, burning through some high white clouds with a vengeance. She couldn’t remember that stand of trees beyond the beach- she must have stumbled quite a way in the dark last night. Her pack was gone, as was her machetes and the water skin she usually had laced to her belt. Her hand leapt to her throat to find that yes, her father’s compass was still hanging from her neck by its strong jute cord. Thank god; It was the only important thing. The rest could be found or replaced.

She scanned the land like her father had taught her. First thing you do when you wake up is do a careful scan of the land. Her father had muttered that to her almost every morning. That little rule had saved her life on two separate occasions since he’d died

She saw: The choppy grey Pacific. The flock of asshole seagulls circling above a rocky point to the north. Dunes and tall grass to the northeast. That stand of blue-green eucalyptus and salt cedar trees to the east (She decided to go regroup there in a minute) and to the south east, a stretch of stubby weeds, recently burned to the ground. So there were people around here, or at least passing through. To the south-
Kinniki did a little double take back east. Something had moved in the short grass, maybe a thousand feet away. Was that…? Shit! It was! The girl immediately dropped to her stomach, crawling forward to hide behind a tuft of yellow beach grass. She peered out cautiously.

There he was: That ugly fucking reaver who’d been chasing her for the past day and a half. Too stupid to give up on her. What use is a slave who’s faster than you are? Kinniki thought. He was headed toward her, but not directly toward her. No, he was making for the trees. Her heart thudded painfully in her throat. God, what she wouldn’t give for a gulp of fresh water.

She switched her focus to the trees. Why was he going there? Was that a figure slumped under those saplings? Or was it a stump? Figure or stump? Kinniki stared. It moved! Wait. Did it move? Figure or stump? No, it wasn’t moving. Definitely a stump.

No, definitely a person, it just collapsed. So maybe the dumbfuck reaver thought it was that person who’d been making the racket. Maybe the reaver would turn around now that he’d caught somebody.

Probably not though. Probably he’d take a walk around to see if the figure was alone. Probably he’d see her footprints and all the blood and track her down the beach, into the bushes where she’d hide in vain, because she was too knackered to run. And then she was slaver’s bate, locked in some basement in Vegas with her teeth knocked in and no horizon. And then she’d just have to hang herself.

Kinniki gave a shaky little sigh, and then rolled out from behind her tuft of grass. She crept south along the beach, moving faster as the reaver neared the trees and the poor fuck who was crumpled there. She darted behind a clump of ratty juniper, grabbing a large, flat stone from the dirt. East through the bushes- fuck, why were bushes so fucking noisy? The reaver didn’t seem to hear. Kinniki emerged from the scrub hesitantly, testing the burnt grass gently with her boot to see what kind of sound it made… No sound. The little stems just dissolved into ash. Kinniki crept across the empty space toward the reaver. There was nothing but air between them now. If he turned around, the big brute would have her hog-tied in six second and his pants around his ankles in another two. Kinniki’s palms sweated around the hunk of rock that she clutched to her chest. Thirty feet between them. Ten. Five. She could smell him. Her face knotted into a grimace. The reaver knelt down, and then she saw the man he was inspecting: a scrawny tattooed guy with his eyes closed and a bandana around his mouth. Huh.

Kinniki raised the rock high over her head and brought it downward in a swift arc. It cracked into the back of the reaver’s skull. The hulking man crumpled like a corn husk doll tossed into a bonfire, pitching onto the curled-up bandana-face man. Kinniki stood poised for a beat, making sure the reaver was really out, and then leapt forward, discarding the rock, to heave him off the poor stranger.

“Hey, you okay?”
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HEX
 Posted: Oct 9 2015, 07:33 PM
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JM
12 POSTS

Open up the gates of hell and roll me through


HEX
N/A



869
gone to bed, god is dead lies and truth are in my head
Through his dumbfounded state he sucked sand into his mouth. There was nothing he could do about it, just not quite aware. All he knew was he had to get up. The torn down boy coaxed himself, a sad half-ass internal dialogue of self preservation- someone was here ring the alarm. The soft thud of boots on the oceanic carpet played softly, far away. Someone or something was approaching. His hands stiffened and grappled laboriously with the ground but there sadly wasn't much to grab a hold of. Just as the static faded, Hex awoke to life in macro. An unidentifiable fleshy beast landed across his back, knocking the last bit of wind from his lungs. As it did not attack but lay there, he writhed trying to both escape the thing or hide beneath it. For the moment his eyes only saw the shadowed sand, the shit that remained on the ground to soak up his bloody fits. The sand that gritted his mouth leaving him desperate for water. Neither of his wishes would be fulfilled, hiding under or escaping from the beast were options quickly pulled from him. Of course someone else was present.

So he laid still. Stunned entirely by fear he whispered to himself, ""S'pose this is what I get."" Barely breathing before hearing friendly words. Am I alright?He wondered the same as he delicately pushed himself out of the cruel earth. Squatting for a moment he touched one hand to the ground while the other clutched his chest. Another round of bronchial uproar, but dry and fueled by the aspirated granules of sand. With the neck line of his shirt he wiped at his mouth. Stretching it further he went cross-eyed briefly, attempting to judge the state of his lungs... his throat. Whatever had been giving off his most precious blood. Damn. He muttered as he noted both wet bright red and dried dark speckles now encrusted to his once white shirt. As his eyes flit upward he brushed the stretched neck of cloth back into place and he rubbed his sore throat uselessly. His reactions were slow, he was aware.

Dreamlike his eyes moved to the ground immediately spotting the fresh stain. Slowly he stood, noting the return of the inglorious aches and pains. The adrenaline dissipated and a lightheaded sensation washed over him. ""Yeah... I'm fine."" Teeth gritted as he struggled to speak, still uncertain of the present situation. Quickly he kicked fresh covering over his daily offering to the salt gods. The metallic taste hung in his mouth, eyes roving over the laid out sack of shit beside him. Clearing his throat he stumbled backwards, wanting nothing to do with the larger man if he should wake up.

Everything was slow motion. Hex took stock of himself, his surroundings. Eyes narrowed, moved towards the girl. ""Who are you? Who is he?"" Cautiously he took another step back, his depleted adrenal attempting to kick start ready to run. As his mind slowly processed the events, he could only try to calm himself with the idea that this girl may have just saved him from something terrible. But it could be a trick. All the same he held his ground, legs tense ready to begin shaking at a moments notice. The initial thoughts from before he blacked out returned - he should have stayed put. The world was full of sound, even in what seemed to be the quietest of places. His stomach churned, the peaceful siesta on the beach was ruined and all he could hope for was a fix.

With his train of thought derailed he mentally inventoried his pack. Perhaps he had something hidden away... Hex forgot things constantly, the little things that mixed in with all other belongings and escaped his memory. With the inevitable itch striking a nerve Hex anxiously wiped at his blood stained lips again with a shaking hand. Swallowing hard his eyes bounced from the stranger to the shore to the sky, a particular hunger reflected in them.

Fear subsided further, but the tremors did not. Quietly he looked over her again. The male attempted to recognize her, maybe a former acquaintance but he had no recollection. ""Shit, you're bleeding..."" Hex's brows rose, a true concern lit in his voice. Ruffling about his jacket he sought something, anything he could give her to help but he wasn't even certain where she was bleeding from... what her wounds were. His temporarily fragile mind bounced back and forth. All his supplies, belongings were yards away and he knew he could help her... but the question still lingered - who was this girl? Did she mean harm? There were numerous Reavers, all shapes and sizes. The Savages weren't much better... he'd be someone's next meal in a heartbeat. ""I...I got nothin' on me to help you..."" Maybe he was over compassionate in these times and places where not many would show the same. Uncertainty gripped him as he so badly wanted to assist if she truly was a friend, and if that were the case he would unfortunately have to deal with the hulking man of unknown origin.

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KINNIKI
 Posted: Oct 11 2015, 09:58 PM
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CARTOGRAPHER
BOOZE
8 POSTS

cross the peaks


KINNIKI
THE TOURIST


"S'pose this is what I get,” the man wheezed. Kinniki sat down on her ankles, barking out a short laugh and pressing her palm to her forehead. “Preach, brother,” Kinniki sighed. She shook her head as her heart rate slowly lost its galloping pace. The man pushed himself up, and coughed into his shirt. Kinniki let her hand fall to her lap, staring at him. She’d been wondering what the hell he’d been doing huddled up on the edge of the trees, exposed as he was. The big pile of reaver to her left was proof enough that carelessness like that could be life ending. But now it was clear to her- he was obviously out of it, sick-to-uselessness. Kinniki pressed her lips together when she saw that the fabric of his shirt was splattered with blood. Plague was a constant monster, especially by the coast. She couldn’t help but turn her face away from him and breath a little shallower.

He stood laboriously. "Yeah... I'm fine,” He mumbled, grimacing. Kinniki looked up as him with raised eyebrows. He was taller than her, and more lean than skinny, but she was sure she could whoop his ass, given his present condition. If it came to that, of course. For the moment, it meant she didn’t have to keep her eyes on him. So she shrugged and replied “Kay,” shifting into a crouch and turning toward the reaver.

Damn! He was just the ugliest brute she’d ever seen. Lying on his side where she’d pushed him, he looked like a big beached animal, not a person. He was huge, maybe six and a half feet, with bulging, bulbous muscles on he shoulders and bare chest, and a sagging, hairy stomach. His bald head was covered in poorly drawn tattoos, he was missing one ear. He stank, too. Kinniki crawled toward him and reached her hand out in front of his parted, leathery lips. She felt the stir of breath there. So he was alive. “Excellent,” Kinniki grumbled under her breath, pulling her hand back and wiping it in the dirt.

"Who are you? Who is he?” She turned to look up at the stranger, meeting his narrowed gaze evenly. He looked skittish. He also looked… familiar. “I’m Kinniki,” she told him, trying to place him in her memories. She stood, searching his eyes, and then gave up. Maybe she was just imagining in things. “This sack of shit is a reaver who’s been on my tail.” She looked down at that splayed body, struck speechless again by what a god-awful sight he made.

"Shit, you're bleeding…" he said, and Kinniki looked down at herself and laughed. She was filthy, covered in congealing seagull blood and white smeared bird droppings, her hands and knees black from crawling on this sooty field. “Most of it isn’t mine,” She said. It was actually hard to tell- her whole body was still humming with endorphins and adrenalin, and she couldn’t see if there were any scrapes of her on under all the muck. Although, there was some throbbing on her back, now that she felt for it- those fucking birds. "I...I got nothin' on me to help you,” the man apologized. “I don’t think I’m the one who needs help,” she replied meaningfully. He was literally shaking, trembling like a sick kid. “What’s wrong with you?” Kinniki asked, hoping that it wasn’t plague, that he’d bruised a lung or that he was coming down from some drug.

In the meantime, she rolled the reaver over onto his stomach with the toe of her boot. “Let’s see if you brought us any nice things,” She said, and as soon as the words dropped from her mouth she saw her very own pack strapped to the bottom of his. She let out a crow of relief, untying it and prancing out into the open, the strange man by the woods instantly forgotten. She upturned the bag into the sooty grass: She wanted to see if everything was accounted for. Most of it was. He’d clearly gone through it, tossed most of her spare clothes and eaten her food, but he’d kept her part-finished maps and all her instruments. He must have sensed they were valuable. Her machetes were wrapped up in her bedroll. She unfolded the moleskin around her store of drugs: he’d eaten a good sized lump of opium, but hadn’t touched any smack or tar. This was great news. Kinniki had planned on heading north into unfriendly territory, and with that stash to bargain safe passage, it looked like that plan was back on track.

Remembering that she wasn’t alone, Kinniki hastily folded the drugs up again, and then repacked her possessions with a deep sense of contentment. “This is all mine. We can split whatever he’s carrying,” she called, standing and slinging her pack over she shoulders. The canvas chafed painfully on the damned bird scratches, but the weight was so comforting…

She walked back to the man, practically giggling with relief. “He’s not dead, by the way,” She said cheerfully. “You can kill him if you want, but I’m not in the mood. After this I’m gonna walk up the coast until sunset and then make camp and clean up. You’re welcome to come. We can have a party and eat all his food.” Her thumbs looped into their favorite spots on the bottom of her pack straps as she waited, grinning, for an answer. With a little company and a little luck, this shitty morning might grow into a beautiful day.
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HEX
 Posted: Oct 14 2015, 06:28 PM
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SURVIVOR
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N/A
JM
12 POSTS

Open up the gates of hell and roll me through


HEX
N/A



869
gone to bed, god is dead lies and truth are in my head
Hex chuckled when she laughed, but his brow furrowed. He wasn't entirely sure why it was funny, but it didn't really matter. He examined the big man from his current upright position, wondering if he was still alive. If this girl hadn't have come around, Hex would've been dead or worse. But, just as he wondered but didn't have the gall to find out the health status of the would be attacker, she did. Taking another step back, he felt like a cornered animal. The beastly man could jump up at any moment, if he were in fact alive. As Hex's rescuer confirmed the brute had life yet, nothing less than a sneer could cross his face, but his concerns drifted with her as she seemed so unaffected.

"Well, nice to meet you Kinniki." He kept his eyes trained on the female as she seemed to be doing the same. She wasn't in his roster of names, not even someone he'd heard of. Feeling calm now, he jammed his hands into the pockets of his jacket while scanning the ground. Most people would've tried to take him out by now. At least, that had been the order of go for most of his experiences. The whole scene before him was a little extravagant to be a ruse to capture one man. Could really use something... His thoughts sent him distant for a few seconds, his gaze moving to the sky "Name's Hex." As she mentioned the oversize fellow's association, Hex balled his fists. They had grown to be something he'd hated most in life, and he wasn't much of the type to waste his energy hating things or people. He'd never been privileged enough to do so.

His attention was drawn back to Kinniki and her mixture of bloods. "Oh, well, if you're not hurtin' too bad..." He was far more concerned with when their fallen slave driver would wake, less with whose blood it could be. Her absent interest in her own pain was inspiring as she turned the question on him. Shuffling anxiously, he squatted leaving all his weight on his toes. "I'm a fuckin' over-indulgent man. That's my problem." It was something he took lighter than most, taking pride in the fact that he could own up to it. Hex always had a flask of something, at the very least. If it were a good day he'd have something more. Didn't matter what it was, so long as it took him just a stride outside of his horrible reality. Although it wasn't only his pain, plenty of others lived in the same time frame, he just handled things his own way. "Don't worry, what's wrong with me isn't contagious."

As Kinniki scuttled off to raid her own pack, Hex took up the offer in sifting through the felled Reaver's shit. Slowly he toppled to his knees crawling near the man. Mumbling to himself he dug into his pocket, dispensing a small utility knife. The thing had grown rather dull, but he used it anyway and proceeded to hack through the leathers straps of his foe's satchel. Without much care Hex grunted and pulled the whole thing away, dumping it across the sand in one movement. Trinkets, a map, canteen, knife... other various bits and bobs. Huffing he grabbed the canteen first, giving it a shake. It was relatively full. Glancing back at the body he noted a separate jug strapped to the monster's body. Squinting, he smirked and quickly fumbled the canteen open taking a wiff. The sharp smell of liquor hit him and he reeled back. "Nice!" For a moment he stared at it, eyes darkening. It didn't take much self-convincing before he shrugged and wiped the rim with his sleeve before taking a swig. The liquid gold burned all the way down, he coughed a bit, choking on the assaulting drink.

His organ's began buzzing, like an engine being fed gasoline for the first time in a long time. With more pep he looked to his companion while inching his fingers towards the knife. He had to do it. If he didn't the man would only get up to follow again. She saved him, and now he could return the favor. "I have to do it... look away if you want." It was something he didn't enjoy, but for the sake of survival he knew what he had to do. Using all the effort he could muster he rolled the thousand pound giant onto his back. With the knife in hand he crawled closer to the man's face. Hesitant he raised the blade just above his neck, hands shaking he paused for just seconds before shutting his eyes and lodging to blade through the windpipe. The sound itself made Hex gag, but he stiffened himself and pulled the knife away scurrying backwards as the man rasped and flailed in his final moments.

He himself couldn't even watch, turning his eyes away, moving back to the jug of fire water. Greedily he snatched it from the ground to suck down more of it. Better. Carefully he repacked the belongings, having all he wanted in his hands at the moment. Sauntering with a more healthy gait he set the bag down before Kinniki. "A fire party sounds nice... but I gotta grab the rest of my shit."

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KINNIKI
 Posted: Oct 18 2015, 02:33 PM
Quote


SURVIVOR
CARTEL
CARTOGRAPHER
BOOZE
8 POSTS

cross the peaks


KINNIKI
THE TOURIST


"I have to do it... look away if you want."

Kinniki wrinkled up her face and shrugged. She did took away, out east over the salty grey bushes, toward the patchy, hazy sky that hovered over the horizon line. Killing… Still kind of bummed her out, in truth. But even the sick gurgling and sounds and the little vibrations she could feel through her boots from the reaver’s great thrashing limbs- even those couldn’t squelch her newly buoyant mood.

It was a good thing mister Hex wasn’t sick with plague. “An over-indulgent man,” he’d called himself. That was well enough, as most of the people Kinniki knew were over-indulgent men. What concerned her more was the was he’d said it was nice to meet her. He was polite, and that was unnerving. Manners were artifice, and artifice was threatening to be around. Bold, rude people were great. If Hex had been rude, she’d have known for sure where he stood and what he wanted. Sweet, slippery people were the dangerous ones. It was easy for Kinniki to trust assholes, and hard for her to turn her back on gentlemen. As the soft, pained sounds of the reaver faded into stillness, a sudden tickling in her chest told her to ditch this Hex guy and head for the hills.

But after many days of hard, soldiery travel, she was so starved for company… Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone to watch over, if only for a night or two?

Kinniki looked over her shoulder as Hex approached. There was a mist of red over his nose and cheeks. She glanced beyond him at the corpse of the reaver, which was squirting a little from the neck and drizzling crimson into the ground. Hex smelled like alcohol, she noticed now, over the sour smell of death. He looked a little perkier with a canteen clasped securely in his hand. Must have been the only thing he took from the reaver’s stuff. ”Is that booze?” she asked. ”Wicked.”

“A fire party sounds nice,” he told her, dropping the reavers big pack at her feet. ”but I gotta grab the rest of my shit.”

“Alright, you do that,” she replied blithely. ”Oh, Hex? You, ah, got a little schmutz there,” she teased, gesturing to the blood on his face. Then she knelt and turned her attention to the bag.

This Hex guy had sliced through all the leather straps on the bag, too lazy, apparently, to undo the buckles. Well, the pack itself was pretty much ruined… She could salvage the canvas sides, but they were too heavy to stitch maps into, and besides, she want to bother hauling scraps into uncharted territory and then all the way home… Perhaps she’d stash it in the bushes. Those buckles and snaps were valuable too. Kinniki upturned the pack, tipping the belongings back into the dirt again. Why had Hex bothered to repack them? Just to be polite? Hm.

Some rank, slimy clothes that Kinniki immediately flung aside, a few wrinkled plastic bottles of water…There was good food in there, but crazy heavy. Canned fruit of all things, and candy. Canned beans, some hard cheese, some dry salted meat. Kinniki grinned. They would eat well tonight.

There was a half-full lighter, which Kinniki pocketed, a ring of keys, a wad of soiled bandages, some bullets, some poker chips. There was a sheaf of papers. Kinniki rifled through them: A letter in scrawl, a seal of a broken skull, perhaps of his gang, a list of names. And then, treasure! A map, an old paper map! Kinniki snatched it up with fast, quaking fingers. What a find! It was a road map of Arizona… Kinniki had one already at home, but it was smaller and less complete. She let a manic little squeal out under her breath. Oh, what a treat! It even had lakes and rivers printed on it in soft blue, although lord knows most of them had probably dried up or changed course by now. She swung her own pack back off of her back and carefully stored it in a fold of plastic. What had ever possessed the pre-apocalypse people to make something so valuable as a map out of something so fragile as paper, Kinniki could never fathom.

After checking to see if there were any hidden seams or unexplored pockets, Kinniki poked around the pile for a moment more, and found one more object of note. Slowly, she picked up a little whittled piece of wood that lay amid all the refuse. It was a cat, a little wooden cat figurine with its head worn smooth and dark from the oil and touch of a gentle hand. Kinniki looked up at the dead reaver and sighed. Of course he’d been human. Of course he wasn’t just an obstacle for her to overcome. She wondered who’d carved this for the reaver. His mother, his brother? and what had happened to them to make him hold onto it? It was a rough little thing, but she could practically feel the tenderness radiating from it like warmth. Kinniki swept her chosen items into the top of her pack, and hefted it back over her shoulder. She considered leaving the wooden cat with the reaver’s corpse, but thought better of it and passed him by. The little thing felt nice pressed into her palm.

Kinniki passed through the edge of the stand of trees and out onto the warm white sand. She kicked her boots off and tied the laces together, hanging them around her neck. She retrieved the headless seagull from the disturbed sand where she'd woken just a little while ago. Then, feeling a pleasant sense of momentum, Kinniki walked out until she was ankle deep in the chilly pacific. This way, her footprints would be washed away in case the reaver’s gang came looking. Assuming that Hex would see her and follow, she began today’s walk north, smoothing her thumb over and over the wooden cat’s head.
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HEX
 Posted: Oct 21 2015, 10:57 PM
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JM
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Open up the gates of hell and roll me through


HEX
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gone to bed, god is dead lies and truth are in my head
His politeness was often taken differently than most. He knew he didn't quite greet people the same way as others, but he found it necessary. Hex never meant harm and always attempted to stay as neutral as possible. He didn't want to kill, and never liked it, but feared what someone may do to him... how slowly he would die as opposed to his primarily quick claims on life, as few times as he's had to do it. He swallowed hard as Kinniki made mention of his pilfered alcohol. "Yeah..." He spoke quietly and looked to the jug in his hand. This was blasphemy for him, the shore line was always meant to be a safe place for him... but considering the circumstances he broke the rules. "Want some?" Hex held it out by the small neck in offering. It was all he really wanted from the Reaver's belongings, but he wasn't opposed to sharing it.

Becoming a bit antsy again, he watched her quietly. He was placing quite a bit of trust in a woman he didn't know. They were both alone on the coast. She had had a tail, and there was no telling if there would be more... and from his experience he knew those type of people wouldn't over look him if they were found here. They'd never leave behind a free body.

Hex grumbled as he watched her inspect the bag. His free hand moved to the back of his head, ruffling through his hair nervously. "Uh, sorry 'bout that... wasn't thinking to save the bag." An anxious chuckle rose and faded just as quickly while she carried on to dump out the belongings again. There had been no reason in repacking other than to transport it to her location. As he mentioned the need for his personal effects, Kinniki made note of the spray of blood across his face. In the moment, he hadn't even realized that had happened. His face twitched, brow furrowed he took his sleeve over his hand and began wiping at it the stain while blushing his own redness. "Shit, well I guess it's dried on now." Hex grumbled and shrugged, not even a fan of his own blood being all over the place he wasn't interested in having someone else's smeared across him. "I'll be back then."

With that Hex turned away pulling his hood over his head against the searing sun. Keeping a good pace it didn't take him much time to get to his humble camp. It was a bit of a mess, the past few days had been spent tossing himself around it a bit and not quite caring to pick up after himself. Muttering on about this and that he snatched his back pack and began tossing in the odds and ends that had been laying around. Once the bits were safely packed away he zipped everything up before attending to his canopy and bedroll. Carefully he untied the bit of tenting and rolled it up tightly with his bedding so it could be tied in on his bag. Once that was finished he hoisted the sack to his shoulders and took one more look around. Tossed asunder near his fire pit was a small wooden box. Quickly he took the three strides towards it, snatching it from the sand. His precious smokes. Thinking twice he disassembled the pit kicking the ashes around. Less to trace. Feeling assured he had completed his task he turned back.

Coughing lightly he thumbed the solid pack into his jacket pocket and doubled his pace as he noticed Kinniki was already on the move. He didn't think much of it... not many people would want to linger around a dead body. It was the last thing on his list of shit he'd enjoy. Picking up a jog he caught up to be just several feet behind the new girl. Groaning, Hex stopped for a moment, doubling over to place his hands on his knees. Running just wasn't for him today. It didn't matter whether she turned to him or not, but he'd have preferred if she didn't. He wasn't keen on being perceived as weak. With his lungs threatening, Hex took a few more shallow breaths to subdue the tempest. Sighing he pulled in a bit deeper and felt fine. Still stationary he reached behind himself grabbing at his own flask for a bit of a refuel, and once satisfied he began walking again. "So, where are you from?" Hex called out casually.

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