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Life Lessons

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1 Life Lessons on Mon May 07, 2018 4:29 pm

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Ruby Winters was a young woman of around twenty two, not that her parents would remember this fact. She was their youngest child. A mistake. Surplus to the achievement of creating their eldest. It hadn’t taken long for Ruby to stop ‘bothering’ her mother with her drawings as a toddler, knowing the response would always be the same; ‘Lovely’, without so much as a glance. She had taken up the piano, to which her father had told her was a waste of time and energy, after all... they didn’t need two pianists in the family. As she grew older, Ruby tried to ask her father to school her in the family business, to which he had told her it was not her place to know the family business. The business would belong to her elder sister one day, it was a useless endeavour to show Ruby how it worked. Eventually Ruby simply ceased interacting with her parents. She spent her days living in the farthest part of their sprawling mansion from them, not that they noticed. The young woman tried finding a job as anything at all, but as soon as they saw the name ‘Winters’, she was laughed away, most companies telling her to just go ask daddy to make her a pony, or whatever it was little girls wanted these days. Such statements barely made sense, as she had only the faintest understanding of what her family did. She knew they were part of a partnership that owned an extremely popular theme park that only the very wealthy could afford, such was her reason for staying away from it; She wanted nothing at all to do with anything Winters.
While she had grown up wanting for nothing in the material sense, the youngest Winter’s daughter was extremely poor when it came to personal relationships.

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361 Re: Life Lessons on Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:07 pm

“No!” Ruby was insistent, wrapping both her arms around Milo’s now, trying to keep him simply abandoning her right there. “Let me come with you... please?”

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362 Re: Life Lessons on Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:06 pm

"Ruby, you're injured. You need to stay here. Your sister would never forgive me if something happened to you." Milo said, shaking his head.

Joe picked herself up and ran from the man that had bitten her, more angry than afraid. She knew it was a host and she knew something had gone wrong with it. This made things worse. This meant someone was playing with code.

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363 Re: Life Lessons on Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:19 pm

“Always about what Joe wants, right?” Ruby scoffed. “What if something happens to me while you’re gone?”

Jack didn’t wallow in his misery for long. He had decided to go get himself something to simply numb the pain. That was when he heard several screams coming from different directions.

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364 Re: Life Lessons on Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:08 pm

"Why would the medic team hurt you?" Milo asked. "They signed a contract to help everyone and not hurt. Especially the guests. And I'm sure you being a Winters will be treated better than most, considering how fearful everyone is of Joseph."

Joe stumbled into a bar, muttering about her father and his stupid ideas. This place was filled with male hosts that were loud and boisterous. For the moment none of them had noticed her.

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365 Re: Life Lessons on Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:20 pm

“And Joseph hates me!” Ruby insisted, still latched onto Milo’s arm. “But fine... I’ll patch it myself!” She huffed as she let go.

“Well, this is a we,come change.” The host behind the bar commented as he looked Joe over. “Should you be in here without your husband, miss?”

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366 Re: Life Lessons on Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:45 pm

"All right." Milo sighed deeply. "I'll take you with me after I take care of your injuries. Come on..." He held out a hand for her." 

Joe was in no mood to be nice. "I need a doctor and first aid." She said firmly, pointing toward the blood on her shoulder and her torn dress. "My fiancee is the last thing on my mind right now."

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367 Re: Life Lessons on Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:46 pm

Ruby seemed to relax a little as she placed her hand into Milo’s. This wasn’t like her, needing someone else like this. She should have been taking care of this herself.

“Miss, where is your man?” The host pressed, having been programmed to believe a woman shouldn’t be spoken to without her ‘owner’ to speak for her.

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368 Re: Life Lessons on Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:42 pm

Milo slipped inside the door of the infirmary and looked around. He didn't seem to notice the hosts on the table that were being worked on. He passed them and the workers to go to the first aid station. He grabbed what he needed and turned to Ruby. "Take off your shirt."

"I need a doctor and first aid." Joe's said again, her tone firm. "Do I need to change your directives?" She hissed.

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369 Re: Life Lessons on Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:59 pm

Ruby’s eyes seemed to grow several sizes wider when Milo suddenly demanded this of her. “I can’t.” She told him after a moment, gesturing to the black waist cincher that covered the middle of her blood smeared dress. “I need two hands to do it, and I can’t move my shoulder without tearing it open.” She added.

The host merely chuckled and shook his head. “You ladies and your strange words.” He mused, though did gesture someone else over. “I’ll have my doctor friend look you over, if your husband will be okay with that?”

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370 Re: Life Lessons on Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:13 pm

"I'll find you something else to wear. That dress is ruined." Milo told her, motioning her to continue to take off the dress. 

"Freeze all motor functions." Joe said, put out with the way this host was acting. This was nothing like Westworld. She didn't like his treatment of the guests.

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371 Re: Life Lessons on Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:55 pm

Ruby stared at Milo for a moment, her brow furrowed slightly. “I’ll tear my shoulder, I don’t care about the dress.”

The host didn’t stop, nor did the other host who had approached them. It was the same thing that had happened with Ruby, voice commands wouldn’t work in this world. “Well now, this is quite a mess.” The doctor declared, gesturing for Joe to take a seat at one of the tables.

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372 Re: Life Lessons on Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:04 pm

"I think you'd be more comfortable in pants." Milo said, shoving his fingers through his hair. "Ruby...I am not like the other Kraven's you don't have to hate me. Or be afraid."

"Freeze all motor functions." Joe said, not moving from where she stood. "What is the matter with you two?"

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373 Re: Life Lessons on Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:19 pm

“I don’t like pants.” Ruby pouted. “And I am not afraid. Perhaps you shouldn’t assume I’m like all the other Winters, either.”

The two hosts looked at each other, then the doctor reached out to Joe again. “Miss, please sit down. You seem to have lost a lot of blood, it is making you delirious.”

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374 Re: Life Lessons on Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:40 pm

"Ok." Milo held up his hands in defeat. "I wasn't trying to offend you Ruby, I promise. I just...I want you to be comfortable and not...not hate me." He breathed, looking away.

"Fred and Andrew, give me your prime directives." Joe said more firmly this time. These werent new hosts, she'd seen them before. She'd made it a point to learn them all by name, even if they got moved to a new storyline. "Answer me, damnit."

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375 Re: Life Lessons on Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:58 pm

Those words surprised Ruby. He had kissed her, then suddenly everything went wrong. She reacted badly to the truth of who he was, and Milo cast her aside like it had all been a mistake. “Why?” She breathed. “I’m just Joe’s annoying kid sister... as Jack likes to remind me at every chance.”

“Miss, I don’t understand.” The bartender, Fred, replied. “My only concern is to ensure your every moment is as real as it can be.”

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376 Re: Life Lessons on Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:10 pm

" Actually.. you're not..." Milo said, the words leaving his mouth before he could stop them.

Joe nodded, pleased with his answer. "Thank you." Then she turned to the doctor. "And you? Prime directive, if you please, Andrew?"

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377 Re: Life Lessons on Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:19 pm

“Huh?” Once again Ruby was staring up at Milo with a confused expression. “Oh, right... now you’re trying to make me feel better by telling me I’m not annoying?”

Andrew smiled in that infuriating way doctors often had. “Will you please sit? As a man of medicine it is my duty to patch you up when needed.”

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378 Re: Life Lessons on Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:59 pm

"No. You're not an annoying kid sister." Milo said, still digging in the drawer. He was too lost in his thoughts to correct himself. "You're their daughter."

Joe nodded though she was frowning. "Where are the handlers? I want a human doctor, Andrew. Not a host. I don't trust the hosts."

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379 Re: Life Lessons on Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:25 pm

There was a deafening pause from Ruby as she stared at Milo’s back until she suddenly snorted with laughter. “Come on, I know there’s quite an age gap between me and Joe, but seriously... she would kill you if she heard you making that joke!”

The two hosts looked at each other in confusion. “A handler? For a horse?” Andrew finally asked. “Why do you need a horse handler? Or a horse?”

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380 Re: Life Lessons on Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:00 am

Milo stopped what he was doing and turned his head. Something in his ice colored eyes had gone dark. 
"Joe came here the night after she told Joesph the truth. He had beaten her so badly she nearly died. 
"I tried to get her to let me call for brother even... but she made me swear. We did an ultrasound. It was a girl...that's when she told me who your father was..."

Joe's head was beginning to hurt. She grabbed for the bottle of whiskey on the counter and downed a long swallow. It didn't matter that it burned going down. She was in so much pain she needed something to take her mind of off it.
"Did old man Kraven screw with the others hosts like he has you two?" She finally managed to cough. "Fred, I need you to contact Jack Kraven and tell him where I am. He'll be pleased to know that I am probably bleeding to death."

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381 Re: Life Lessons on Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:32 am

Ruby felt her chest growing tight, like someone was holding in a tight bear hug. “Who was it?” She choked out, though already knew the answer. How could they keep this from her? All these years, all the times she had wanted to run away because of the way her parents treated her... it made sense.

“Happens when you get scared of me and run, duchess.” Jack replied from behind Joe, having heard everything. “I only wanted a bottle, and here’s her ladyship ruining our wedding by bleeding out.” He added, crossing the room and removing his jacket, tearing at the sleeves and tying them around the wound. “Suck it up, Joe. No human doctor, and if you don’t let that mad host look at you, you’re going to die.”

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382 Re: Life Lessons on Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:20 am

"Jack." The answer hung in open air like the threat of a bomb. "Joe didn't always hate him. That summer the two of them grew very close. They met up in a secret place. Near the end of that summer they tried to run away but Jack's father found him and forced him to leave her. Because of his hatred for Joseph, he didn't care what it did to his son. 
It was because he left her that she never tried to tell him about you." Milo told her , turning back to his task.

"What is going on with these hosts, Jack? Who is programing them?" Joe all but demanded, her eye dark with storm clouds.

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383 Re: Life Lessons on Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:29 pm

Again Ruby was left speechless as she stared at Milo’s back. This lasted only a moment before she hauled whatever was next to her at the back of his head. “You bastard! You can’t just drop that shitstorm on me, then act like it’s no big deal! You’re acting like one of them, like the hosts!” She howled, again struggling to breathe. “Why wouldn’t she tell me?! Why...” Ruby could feel tears burning her eyes, thinking about all the times their father had beat Ruby, and Joe had just accepted that’s how their life was.

Jack shook his head and gestured the host doctor over. “Come on, duchess, I thought you were supposed to be smart?” He snorted. “Daddy dearest always has to have a new toy when he grows bored of the old one...”

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384 Re: Life Lessons on Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:40 pm

"Perhaps it was to protect you." Milo said as he stood, offering Ruby clothes. "Joe has done much to protect you. I would assume keeping the secret from even you was for the best. The Kravens probably would have killed you which is much worse that what Joseph did." 

Joe sighed. "Jack...I know what your mother wants you to do to me..." She didn't get to finish as the doctor stood in between them, his fingers probing the wound. "Get your hands off me, you son of a bitch!" She roared, slapping at the host.

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385 Re: Life Lessons on Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:41 pm

Ruby’s lower lip trembled, though she accepted the clothes Milo held out to her. “You talk like you’re not one of them...” she whispered, feeling so much more than lost. Who was she? Her entire life was a lie.

Jack sighed and took hold of Joe’s hands, pressing them down to her slender thighs with his own on top of them so the doctor could work. “You think you know everything, don’t you?” He asked sadly.

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386 Re: Life Lessons on Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:38 pm

Milo said nothing to this hunting for what he needed to heal her wounds. "For what it's worth, I'm sorry I let that host bite you. If I had known it was you...and not another host.. please...say you forgive me..."

"So do you, Jack Kraven." Joe whispered, her voice cracking as she tried to keep from crying out in pain. "I'm going to let you win this time just to you know. Do what ever it is she has planned. I won't fight you."

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387 Re: Life Lessons on Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:59 pm

“Why do you even care?” Ruby asked sullenly as she simply stared down into her lap. “I’m about as important as a host anyway.”

“If you let queen bitch win, who’s going to keep your annoying sister from doing stupid shit?” Jack asked with a smirk. “Nah, I don’t like easy wins... I like to fight for my prizes...” he added, lifting a hand to Carefully push some of the dark hair back that had fallen into Joe’s eyes.

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388 Re: Life Lessons on Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:32 pm

"That's not true." Milo said softly. "You're important to Joe and you're important to me." He dared reach out and touch her face.

"I am not your duchess or your prize." Joe said firmly, pushing his hand away.

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389 Re: Life Lessons on Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:02 pm

Ruby lifted her gaze to meet Milo’s when he touched her cheek lightly. “I’m only important to you... because you need to keep on Joe’s good side, right?” She breathed, her childlike vulnerability showing through in her pale eyes as they watched Milo. “I’m just a dirty mistake that was never meant to be.”

“Oh duchess...” Jack smiled again, this time cupping Joe’s cheek as his thumb lightly traced against her full lower lip. “You’re a prize I’ve wanted since I was old enough to feel the blood rushing somewhere other than my brain.” He added with a playful smirk. “I never forgave my father for what he made me do to you...”

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390 Re: Life Lessons on Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:51 pm

"I do not care about what Joe thinks and most especially Jack. I have lived under their thumb long enough. " Milo said firmly. "Do not be ashamed of who you are, Ruby."

Jack's words made her feel like she'd been punched in the gut. They hurt so much more than the teeth that had torn into her shoulder. The look of agony and betrayal was there in her eyes and it was impossible to miss.

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