seestheman: (Woman on a mission)
Clara Murphy ([personal profile] seestheman) wrote in [community profile] thearena2014-05-27 09:36 pm

[Open] Roam if you want to

Who: Clara Murphy & YOU!
What: Clara slips out of the house to go exploring.
When: Week 2 (maybe later than that too?)
Where: All over!
Notes: Possible language? Potential violence?

01 - Main Street
Clara's pretty certain that her and Alex weren't the only ones to lay claim to one of the buildings in town. Thinking otherwise would be naive at best, and could get her killed at worst. Which doesn't mean that there aren't some that haven't already been sacked or claimed, and if she's lucky she'll find one of them and some supplies to add to their stash. Brandishing the knife that had been dropped in front of their house with her name on it the morning before alongside a flashlight that she's clutching in her left hand, she approaches what looks like an abandoned drug store, hoping that maybe there's still something of use inside.

02 - Amusement Park
Clara had always liked amusement parks. The lights, the colors, the sounds, the smell of funnel cake and cotton candy. They always made her think of going to the carnival with her family as a kid, or dates with Alex, or the proud look on David's face when he won a goldfish or a stuffed animal almost as big as he was. What they definitely never made her think of was thick fog with the skeletal figures of rides emerging with every step or the giant, terrifying clown face that obviously served as the entrance to a fun house. Hearing some sort of footsteps near by, she climbs over the wooden counter of a game stall and ducks down, hoping whoever (or whatever) it is goes away soon.

03 - Orchards
Suspicious as she may be of taking whatever came from the Arena itself compared to what was dropped in for them as gifts, there are certain creature comforts that Clara's missed from home. Ones that aren't completely obvious, like fresh fruit. So her discovery of an orchard makes her wary, which she ignores in lieu of the fact that there's a peach tree right in front of her and one's practically within her reach.

04 - Choose Your Own
yourmove: (031)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-06-02 07:26 am (UTC)(link)
After his run-in with the basement, Alex learns to take it more carefully with his scavenging runs. He doesn't weigh the same anymore and these buildings are about ready to go. Last thing he wants is it be out there trying to find food and water and taking another swan dive. He might not get fished out the next time.

He gets back with some more pieces from the Amusement Park: scraps of metal, more boards to shore up the windows, stuff that he forgets about when he calls out "Clara?" and she doesn't reply. It's not a big house. Thank God there isn't any blood stains. No signs of struggle. She left on her own two feet.

Alex can't work out if he's scared or pissed or a mix of both that feels like it's trying to strangle him.

He steps outside as the fog presses in with a grey wall, his mind racing trying to figure out where she could've gone to. Alex tells himself she'd be crazy to go back to the Cornucopia. But she'd been talking about fruit, wishing she could find a good apple or orange, and he wonders if the Orchard might be a place to check. He's seen it from a distance, avoided it because he kept thinking of Tributes hiding in the trees. With his heart jumping in his throat, Alex books it for the Orchard, legs pumping.

He makes it there to the sound of someone running through the trees, something skittering and crackling among the branches. He sees the spider before he sees Clara; it's the biggest, ugliest spider he's seen and it's so big his mind goes blank for a second trying to compute. The flash of blonde hair jolts Alex back to action.

He reaches down, picks up a piece of rotting fruit, and chucks it at the spider. It'll get its attention, at the very least.
yourmove: (018)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-06-05 06:37 am (UTC)(link)
That is one big goddamn spider.

Weird the stuff that goes through your head when you sit up and go Jesus, I could really die today. The spider bearing down on him makes all the ones back home look like jokes, the joints and exoskeleton so big that they bypass that monkey part of his brain that’s hardwired to get squeamish. It’s just flat-out ugly. Like something puked it up.

“Clara, stop!” Alex catches sight of Clara coming his way instead of, say, climbing for the trees. “Don’t – ”

He gets cut off as the spider barrels into him, hitting his chest with enough force that he actually stumbles back, thinks he’ll make it and then goes down underneath the weight of the thing. It chitters, the mandibles or whatever they are flailing as if looking for a good place to sink its fangs into. Maybe it’s never run into a cyborg before. For once Alex is glad he’s trapped in this exosuit/chassis/what-the-hell ever, the visor down to protect as much of his face as possible. Saliva drips down, splatting on his chest. Something starts to sizzle.

Alex has a sinking feeling that’s him. Of course the spider’s also acidic.

He manages to get one arm wedged underneath the spider’s mouth, trying to frantically pinpoint where Clara is.
yourmove: (052)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-06-08 07:21 am (UTC)(link)
Ichor or blood or whatever it is the spider has inside it splashes as it jerks its body, dragging its abdomen across Clara's knife and making this chittering squeal sound that instinctively sets Alex's teeth on edge.

He manages to shove most of its weight off him, aware of Clara in that way you become hyper-aware of things when shit is going down. Adrenaline rush. It'd be relieving in a way to know he can still feel it if he wasn't worried about this thing killing the two of them. Shoving one of the legs off him, he ignores Clara's warning. He runs, she gets targeted, and she doesn't have this armor to protect her from the acid or the fangs. Like hell he's leaving her behind.

He reaches out without thinking about it.

Alex won't know later if it's him or the AI module reacting to a direct threat: his left hand shoots out, swiveling on its joint, and sinks its fingers into the narrow part where the head meets the abdomen. It squeezes mechanically, no tremble that a human would have, inevitable and steady, Alex throwing his weight forward. He doesn't expect to get any traction because the spider looks like it should weigh more than he does. He pictures his old self in his mind's eye. The reality is he weighs more than he's used to and instead of bouncing off the spider, he actually manages to shove it onto its side. The legs twitch and scrabble. More ichor wells up around his armored fingers, Alex shooting a desperate look at Clara.

"Knife!" He doesn't know if he means gimme the knife or stab it while it's down. All he knows is he won't be able to hold it down for long...
yourmove: (006)

Let's start wrapping up this thread?

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-06-22 06:20 am (UTC)(link)
The spider collapses, Alex feeling like he should be breathing hard. Mostly his heart races like it's from NASCAR and with the chassis, it feels somehow claustrophobic.

"Thanks." Alex releases his hand hold on the spider, letting it thud to the ground and ignoring the way that even though it's huge, it's still doing that disgusting leg curl that his brain is still instinctively going holy christ at even though he's stuff in some kind of armor. "It didn't get you, did it?"

Looking at her, his HUD sweeps the outline of her body in red and then begins ticking off biometric readings, whatever those are supposed to be. It comes back with "emotional distress" and "increased heart-rate" like those wouldn't be obvious. Clara just ran into a goddamn spider from a monster movie - who wouldn't be shitting bricks about it? His left hand comes up to cup her face, hesitates, and then gingerly touches Clara's cheek, the coolness of the graphene grazing her skin. She looks like she only got some of the jacket hit with the blood and it's not eating through her like the drool was. Clara's trembling, though, and even though he's touching her with a prosthetic hand, he can still feel how she's shaking.

He's never seen her like this. Alex remembers what she looked like when she was ramping up to propose and he used to think that was the most scared she'd ever been. It doesn't have a candle to the look on her face now.
yourmove: (071)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-06-25 08:52 am (UTC)(link)
"I'll live." Alex cracks on of those lop-sided smiles of his, worn at the edges. It looked almost alien on a face that had been burned to jerky only a few months ago.

He doesn't know how long and frankly, he doesn't care: from what Clara told him, it's a miracle he's even here today. Alex stands there, feeling useless as his wife's shoulders heave as she cries. Really cries. He rubs her back with his flesh hand (his "good hand", in his mind, because the other one is alien), whispering something like "it'll be okay" and "we'll work it out" and he doesn't know if he believes it. All Alex knows is he needs to convince Clara and he can worry about how much he believes his own BS later.

"Hey," Alex keeps his voice low, trying to aim for comforting but aware they're still near the tree line. If other Tributes didn't hear them, another one of those freak spiders might. "Hey, look. We'll get back to the house, okay? C'mon."

He protectively loops his arm around her back, glancing around at the fog as if daring the other Tributes to try their luck. After the damn spider, Alex feels like the rest of the Arena can't possibly be as bad.